Elephants attack school; raid midday meal grain

A herd of 11 wild elephants in search of food raided a government-run high school in the Kuanramunda block of the tribal-dominated Sundergarh district in western Odisha and devoured foodgrain and other materials kept for a midday meal scheme.

  The incident that took place late on Tuesday night triggered panic among villagers in the area.

The backward western Odisha district bordering Jharkhand is prone to elephant menace and often witnesses raids by wild pachyderms from the neighbouring state.

   According to sources in the local forest department office, after razing the compound wall of the school well past midnight on Tuesday, the herd headed towards the school storeroom, broke down the doors and started feasting on the food materials which included four quintals of rice, 30 kg of pulses and one bag full of potatoes. They also damaged the utensils kept in the room.

Sadly, the jumbos did not leave things at that. Completing their meal, the herd broke open the doors of two class rooms of the school and damaged the furniture. Interestingly, the school was raided by the same herd of elephants two years ago.  If local forest department officials are to be believed, this is the same herd of elephants from Jharkhand that had entered Sundergarh’s steel township of Rourkela last month and unleashed a reign of terror for almost 48 hours.

The local police and forest department officials had a tough time pushing back the herd to the forests in Jharkhand with the help of a group of experts from the neighbouring state.
DH News Service

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