Residents of Abhinav Bidanasi here heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday when the herd of elephants, which had strayed into the city on Friday, went back to a river islet close to the Athgarh forest range.
Forest officials are hopeful that the pachyderms would go back to the forest areas soon.
Foresters are now guarding the embankment to ensure that the elephants do not come towards the city anymore.
The pachyderms numbering around seven adults and some baby elephants had entered the city after crossing the Mahanadi river on Friday morning.
The elephants took shelter in a bushy forest area near a park and stayed put there for the entire day sending panic among the city residents. The area was cordoned .
PTI reports from Bhubaneswar:
The Odisha government on Saturday entered into an agreement with the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation to protect elephants in the State. “The MoU will remain in force for two and a half years during which the State government has to spend Rs 49.51 lakh towards survey and protection measures by the ANCF,” an official said.