Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Betnoti, Nov 3:
After failing in their attempts to drive away elephants that have crossed over into Odisha from neighbouring Jharkhand, the Forest department is trying to shoo away the trespassers using horse squads.
The department has launched the new technique on an experimental basis from Sunday after failing in its attempts to drive away the wild animals using smoke generated from burning of cow dung cakes laced with chili powder.
While one horse was inducted into the squad on Sunday, another horse named ‘Dilu’ was inducted into the squad yesterday. The squad will comprise of four horses. However, the squad with two horses in it has already on its patrolling job from yesterday.
The pachyderms from Jharkhand that have strayed into Mayurbhanj and Nilagiri area of Baleswar district have created havoc in the area leading to panic among the locals. There is likelihood of similar situation arising out of the jumbos trespass this year as in the past years.
The department having failed to drive away elephants trespassing into the state from Jharkhand earlier in the past has deployed horses for the same this year.
As per reports, the department has fetched a black horse named ‘Badal’ from Chengua Mangalpur on Sunday and another named ‘Dilu’ from Manatri on Monday. While ‘Badal’ and ‘Dilu’ are already on patrolling duty, two more horses brought from Digha will be joining the squad.
Prior to using horse squad for driving away jumbos, the department, especially in Nilagiri range in Baleswar district had used smoke generated from burning of cow dung cakes laced with chili powder on an experimental basis.
According to experts on animal behavior, the experiment had no positive impact on the elephants, instead made them more violent.
Departmental sources said around 100 employees of different forest ranges including the special squad will be deployed in the operation to drive away the elephants from Odisha territory.