|Jumbo concern only gets bigger - In six years, 354 persons killed by elephants in state Orissa
Subrat Das and Lelin Kumar Mallick
December 4, 2013
Dec. 3: Rising incidents of human-elephant conflict has become a
headache for the state government. As many as 354 people were killed by
the jumbos in the past six years, while 368 elephants died during the
Between 2008-09 and 2013-14 (till November 15 this
year), the number of elephant deaths caused by poaching, electrocution,
and accidents is higher than the casualties due to natural reasons and
diseases. Nearly 150 elephants died due to poaching, electrocution, and
accidents as against 144 natural deaths.
The forest department
has no reason to ascribe for the death of 74 elephants during this
period. Sources said that in most of these cases, the confusion was
caused due to lack of evidence, which was destroyed by poachers.
experts are worried as elephant deaths caused by poisoning and train
accidents are on the rise. Though there were no cases of poisoning of
elephants between 2001-02 and 2009-10, in the past four years, 17
jumbos were poisoned and 31 died due to poaching.
and 2013-14, 13 elephants were killed in train accidents. The death of
five elephants by Chennai-bound Coromandel Express in Ganjam district
on December 30 last year had exposed the lack of co-ordination between
the forest officials and railway authorities while dealing with the
jumbo movement in and around railway tracks.
Deaths caused by
deliberate and accidental electrocution have become alarming in the
past five years. While 33 elephants were killed in deliberate
electrocution, accidental cases killed another 35.
government, however, has claimed a rise in the state’s elephant
population. The latest census in 2012 had shown presence of 1,930
elephants in the state — 44 more than the 2010 head count.