Express News Service
JAJPUR: Faced with food crisis in the forests, a wild elephant’s quest for fodder has forced Jajpur district administration in Odisha to virtually shut down schools in a block and urban local body areas.
The elephant which has trampled three persons to death has gone on a depredation spree in Korei and Rasulpur blocks of the district for the last three days. It has not only killed three people but also attacked ten others leaving them injured.
In view of safety of the locals, the district administration on Friday declared a holiday for primary and high schools in Korei block and Vyasa Nagar urban body areas. Jajpur Collector Ranjan Kumar Das said all schools in the area will remain closed till forest officials manage to drive the tusker away.
As per the reports, the elephant has been damaging life and property in Korei and Vyasnagar area since Wednesday. On Thursday, it marched towards Parikainchi, Gandhan and Deepamchal areas of Rasulpur block and damaged a dozen of houses and paddy stocks. When people chased the wild animal, it headed to Sankhachila area of the neighbouring Korei block where it trampled two men to death of Godipatana village and attacked four persons leaving them seriously injured on Thursday night. Ever since, people of several villages of both the block areas have remained indoors.
Forest officials said, the jumbo ventured to the human habitation from the Pachikota forest in search of food. “The wild tusker, apparently facing a major food and habitat crisis due to shrinking forest land, entered human habitat and ended up creating havoc among the locals in the area,” said a forest official.
Meanwhile, the Forest Department has launched a drive to send it back into the forest.
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