By Naresh Chandra Pattanayak
After Similipal sanctuary in Mayurbhanj district, poachers now seem to be making inroads into the Hadagarh sanctuary. The fact came to light after wildlife division forest officials seized the carcass of three elephants, allegedly killed by tusk smugglers from Hadagarh wildlife sanctuary near Chakratirtha biodiversity area.
The forest department seized the carcass after interrogating five persons for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of tuskers. The department has seized about 12 kg tusks worth about Rs nine lakh from a house in Purunia village under Hadagarh forest range area on April 22.
The officials found the carcass of three elephants - two male and one female - from Chakraturtha, Kaliamba and Boula areas of Hadagarh reserve forest.
The Hadagarh sanctuary has dense forests and hills, covering an area of about 191 sq km. The sanctuary is connected with Similipal sanctuary of Mayurbhanj district and Kuldiha sanctuary of Balasore district, which is regarded as the elephant corridor. The river Salandi, which flows inside the sanctuary, adds to the beauty of the place. The sanctuary has hundreds of rare species of plants and butterflies. The Hadagarh reserve forest was declared a sanctuary in 1988 for the preservation of elephant and other wild animals, reptiles, rare species plants and trees and medicinal plants.
The objective of creation of this Division is to enforce the Forest Law for a compact area of the Anandapur Civil Sub-Division consisting of Hadagarh Sanctuary, Rebana R.F, and Atei R.F. of the keonjhar District. As these areas are susceptible to theft of timber, the Govt. has taken an effective step by creating Wildlife Forest Division with Headquarter at Anandapur for proper management of the Hadagarh Sanctuary and thereafter creating the Mayurbhanj Elephant Corridor Zone of the Keonjhar district. The office of the Divisional Forest Officer, Keonjhar Wildlife Division Anandapur has four Ranges namely Anandapur Wildlife Range, Hadagrh Wildlife Range, Deogaon Wildlife Range & Brahmanipal Wildlife Range. The total cadre strength of this division is 111. But many forest guard post have lying vacant. More....