Elephant dies after relocation to Orissa

November 14th, 2007 - 8:07 am ICT by admin  
Experts said the relocated elephant could have died of negligence.

“While relocation, things can go wrong. If the animal has behaved erratically while being transported in a truck, it has to be given another dose of tranquilliser. So, it appears that the tranquilliser has (not) been (given) again while being transported to Lakhari valley in Orissa,” said Suresh Mishra, a wildlife expert.

Officials said they would be careful in future. A total of nine elephants were relocated to the State.

“We are investigating into about what went wrong and what led to this death. Whether there was overdose of tranquilisation, whether it was dehydration, whether their transportation was disorganised, whether there was no proper transport arrangement?” said Suresh Mohanty, chief wildlife warden of Orissa.

Under ‘Operation Gajendra’, wildlife authorities and experts from Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa had attempted to coerce the herd of nine jumbos back to Lakhari sanctuary in Orissa from Srikakulam village in Andhra Pradesh.

At least ten people were trampled to death and dozens of houses destroyed by a herd of rampaging elephants in the border villages of Andhra Pradesh over the last few months.

The herd was not leaving the area due to the earlier death of a fellow elephant at Darsi.

Incidents of man-animal encounter have increased over the past few months with forest areas depleting alarmingly and animals looking for food straying into areas inhabited by humans.

Orissa has an estimated 1,800 elephants, but its shrinking habitat forces the pachyderms to cross over to human settlements, often coming in conflict with man.

At least 151 elephants were poached in the state between 1991- 2001 while another 125 died of natural reasons or epidemics.

India has an estimated 30,000 wild and captive elephants. The Central environment and forest ministry has drawn up a Project Elephant to conserve the Asiatic elephant population in the country.(ANI)

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