KORAPUT: An elephant herd roaming in Dasmantpur and Laxmipur areas under Koraput forest range has damaged properties worth over `50 lakh creating panic among the locals during the last six days.
Irked over the apathetic attitude of the Forest Department, hundreds of villagers staged a demonstration in front of the local block office and demanded a long term plan to stop intrusion of elephants.
Reports said a herd of eight elephants was spotted in Padampur, Panasput, Purimunda, Bausaguda, Malibijodi, Pakonodla, Tallimika villages on Koraput-Kalahandi border in the first week of June.
Later, two elephants left the herd and spread havoc in Laxmipur and Dasamantpur villages. The elephants have damaged 30 houses and crop in more than 300 acres.
Significantly, an elephant herd had strayed from the forest of nearby Rampur-Madanpur in Kolahandi district in 2010 and stayed in Indravati catchment area near Nabarangpur. Later, the herd ventured into Koraput crossing Muran dam in Borrigumma block.
Since then, the elephants of the herd have been wandering in the forest areas of Borrigumma and Dasmantpur damaging properties in past two years. A tribal was crushed to death by an elephant in Dasmantpur last year.
Meanwhile, the Forest Division officials have appealed to the tribals of Jeypore and Koraput sub-divisions to keep a watch on the movement of the elephants to prevent further loss.
Calf Killed in Elephant Herds’ Battle
Dhenkanal: A two-month-old elephant calf died in a fight among the tuskers in Dhenkanal district on Friday. The incident occurred in Rubalia mountain under Sadangi forest range near Joranda when the two elephant herds came across each other.
While one group of 20 elephants belongs to Sadangi range, the other was on its way from Kapilas forest, said DFO PK Sahu. When the herds came face to face, a fight ensued and the calf was believed to have been killed in the melee.
Forest officials rushed to the spot and advised people not to go near the elephants guarding the carcass as they may turn violent.
Earlier, the herd of 20 elephants had entered a village near the mountain and destroyed paddy saplings in over 20 acres of land. The farmers have sought compensation from the Forest Department.
■ The incident occurred in Rubalia mountain under Sadangi forest range near Joranda when the two elephant herds came across each other
■ The elephants also damaged paddy crops in the village