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Trained elephants sent to capture killer tusker on prowl

Bhubaneswar, Jan 7, 2013, DHNS: 0:48 IST
Two ''Kunki'' (trained) elephants have been rushed to Odisha’s tribal-dominated Sundergarh district to capture a wild tusker in their neighbouring state Jharkhand. In the last 12 days, the elephant has already killed six people in different villages in the district.

The state forest department decided to send the two elephants—Yashoda and Sobha—to the district after villagers threatened to take law into their own hands and launch a violent agitation if the state and the district administration did not initiate any steps immediately to deal with the killer elephant.

The villagers had also staged a road blockade on last Saturday. While Yashoda was on duty at the Chandka reserved forests in the outskirts of the capital city, Sobha had been deployed at the Simlipal wildlife sanctuary in north Odisha district of Mayurbhanj.

“We will try to capture the wild tusker with the help of the two trained elephants and tranquilizer. People who would be engaged to tranquilize the killer elephant have already arrived”, said Sundergarh DFO, Arjun Behera.

Villagers are petrified by the manner in which the wild elephant is killing people. The pachyderm breaks into thatched houses late in the night and lifts its victims while they are asleep before crushing them to death.

The local forest officials and villagers maintained that though Sundergarh district is known as for its elephant menace, they had never seen such an attacking tusker. “The tusker is so swift and sharp that it has become very difficult for us to track its movement,” said DFO Behera.

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