|Elephant deaths rampant in Orissa
Bhubaneswar, October 31, 2012
where kings were once addressed as ‘Gajpati’, is fast turning into a
graveyard for elephants with 296 jumbos dying in the past five years.
has been identified as the major cause of elephant deaths in the state,
Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray said.
At least 116 elephants were electrocuted in the state in between 2000-01 and October 11, 2012.
46 of them were found to be deliberately killed by administering
electric shock, 70 others died accidentally by coming into contact with
hanging live electric wires.
Wildlife activist Biswajit Mohanty
said the casualty rate was over 10 per year since 2008-09.This year 13
pachyderms have died, while 18 died in the previous year, forest
An analysis of elephant deaths in the last five
years showed that while 26 jumbos died due to poaching, 16 were
poisoned to death to prevent damage to crops. At least seven elephants
were run over by trains while 16 more were killed in various other
Between 2008-09 to October 2012, 59 jumbos died due
to diseases. During the same period, 29 elephants died due to
deliberate electrocution while 32 died of accidental electrocution.
Forest Minister held the Energy Department responsible for the
large-scale jumbo electrocution, but Energy Minister Arun Sahu claimed,
“It is the responsibility of the Forest and Environment Department to
regularly inform the Energy Department about the elephant routes.”