Changes in Odisha’s Ganjam district has destroyed habitats and traditional corridors of elephants, bringing them into frequent conflict with humans
A herd of 14 elephants destroyed prawn farms in Bahuda lake in Odisha’s Ganjam district December 29, 2020. They also destroyed several fishing boats and nets. They had first entered villages in Sorala, Sonapur and Kaitha December 28 and damaged ripe paddy crops and vegetable crops. Photo: Ashis Senapati
Wild elephants often enter villages in search of food, and damage the paddy crops, vegetables, granaries, etc. But for the first time, they damaged the prawn farms in the Bahuda lake. “We had earlier submitted a memorandum to the forest department urging them to check wild elephant menace. However, the forest department failed to solve the problem,” alleged Baishaba Sahoo, a resident of Sorala village. Photo: Ashis Senapati
“Some wild elephants strayed from the nearby forest reserve into the villages and damaged crops and prawn farms. The pachyderms have been roaming in the surrounding villages. A team of forest staff have been deployed in the villages. We are trying to drive them out by beating drums and lighting fires,” said Amlan Nayak, divisional forest officer, Ganjam forest division. Photo: Ashis Senapati
As many as 14 elephant corridors were officially identified by the Odisha government in January 2010 that included three inter-state corridors with West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Rs 20 crore was spent on these corridors for improvement. However, they are not protected under the law, said Biswajit Mohanty, secretary, Wildlife Society of Odisha. Photo: Ashis Senapati
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