Chhattisgarh to hunt down killer elephant

July 29th, 2008 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, July 29 (IANS) A rogue elephant that has killed eight people and caused widespread damage in Chhattisgarh’s Jashpur district is to be hunted - with tranquiliser gun - the state government announced after affected villagers started a road blockade. “We are forced to order that the rogue elephant be hunted as it has killed eight people and caused widespread damage to property in the past one year,” O.P. Yadav, divisional forest officer (DFO) of Jashpur, told IANS Tuesday.

On this assurance, villagers of Jashpur district called off their road blockade started last week. The villagers had laid the body of a man killed by the elephant on the road they blockaded.

“Experts are coming from West Bengal to hunt down the rogue elephant. It will take at least two weeks to tranquilize and capture the animal, but killing it is definitely not on our agenda, and it will be the last option,” the official added.

Chhattisgarh’s vast northern region, comprising of Surguja, Jashpur, Korea, Korba and Raigarh districts, regularly witnesses cases of man-elephant conflict. Dozens of people have been killed by wild elephants in recent years in the region.

The state government anually pays out to villagers in the northern region millions of rupees in compensation for the loss in human lives and the massive damage caused to houses and crops. Sometimes, villagers migrate to safer places for a week or more to avoid the sudden night-time attacks of the wild elephant herds.

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