Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 20:
Two pachyderms from the Bharatpur sanctuary trespassed into the Odisha capital twice in the last two days keeping forest officials and local residents on their toes.
The two elephants – one male and the other – were members of a five-member herd. While the male jumbo entered the Kalinga Studio, the makana entered the OUAT Farm after pulling down the wall on Saturday. They ran over banana and jackfruit trees planted inside the campuses.
As per sources, five pachyderms—two female, one male, a makana and a calf– are currently moving inside the Bharatpur reserve forest. While the female elephants are moving together, the male and makana, who were roaming separately earlier, have now come together and are moving together.
On Saturday night, the tuskers broke the sanctuary wall and sneaked into the human habitat on the outskirts of the capital city. Instead of trespassing into populated areas, they spread out into two locations—the male jumbo entered into the Kalinga Studio and the makana went into the OUAT Farm.
In the wee hours, at around 5 am on Sunday, the locals spotted them during their rampaging act and alerted forest officials. The officials rushed to the spot and drove them away while they were mowing down the banana and jackfruit trees. The officials guided them back to the sanctuary and heaved a shy of relief as not much damage was done to life and property by them.
Again on Sunday afternoon, the pair attempted to venture out of the sanctuary. The alert forest officials, however, intercepted them near Rental Colony in the city and drove them to the jungle again.
“An elephant herd had entered a slum near Niladri Vihar area twice last week. They did not attack the humans or damage property. During monsoon, the banana trees grow rapidly which attracts these pachyderms. This is the reason they keep coming back to the populated areas,” a forest official said.
The herd is mostly seen in the Bharatpur sanctuary and is not going to the Chandaka wildlife reserve. They are straying into the city in search of food and are not violent. The public has been advised not to provoke these animals. They have been following this as a result of which no human-animal encounter has been reported in the recent past, the official added.