No Let-Up In Jumbo Death In Odisha; Another Casualty In Kuldiha Sanctuary Points To Poaching

Balasore: There is no let-up in elephant deaths either due to mishaps, natural causes or poaching in Odisha, sparking grave concern for the forest department as well as wildlife lovers and activists in the state.

Yet another elephant was found dead with its tusks missing near Kalmachaturi in Kuldiha sanctuary in Balasore district. It was alleged that the jumbo was shot dead by poachers.

What is worrying is that in last 12 months, the sanctuary has reported seven elephant deaths.

Forest officials spotted its carcass on Thursday after being informed by local tribal residents. It was alleged that though the jumbo had died three days ago, the forest officials had kept it hidden from media persons. However, the forest department is yet to unravel the cause of its death. But the missing of its tusks raises suspicion about poaching.

Voicing concern over the jumbo death, wildlife activist Biswajit Mohanty said,”As the tusks of the deceased jumbo are missing, it seems to be a target killing. I wonder how the elephant died in a heavily guarded sanctuary. It must have happened due to lowering of guard by the forest officials.”

Later, a team including DFO Khuswant Singh, Kuldiha ranger Ananta Kumar Jena and other forest officials visited the spot and started an investigation into the jumbo death. “The jumbo death will be investigated by a special task force from Bhubaneswar,” said the DFO.


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