Environment Ministry seeks report from Odisha Forest Department on elephant death due to gun shots

Bhubaneswar: The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change today sought an action taken report from the Odisha Forest Department on the incident in which a male elephant was found injured with gun shots in Athagarh forest division of Cuttack district.

In a letter, the Ministry asked the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden to look into the matter and take strict action as per the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It also directed the official to submit a detailed action taken report on the incident through email at the earliest.

The letter mentioned that the Ministry came to know about the incident from various news reports and social media.

The tusker reportedly was shot five to six places on its body including head, trunk and leg. It was being treated by veterinary doctors from Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Nandankanan Zoological Park and the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT).

On Tuesday, the Odisha Forest Department said the 10-year-old, sub-adult elephant succumbed to severe injuries.

The elephant was found injured with five pellet wounds in Narasinghpur west range on June 7.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan reacted on the elephant death and tweeted, “The death of a wounded tusker who was shot by poachers in Athagarh forest is distressing for all wildlife enthusiasts. This is not just a one-off incident in Odisha.”

In a Twitter thread, Pradhan wrote, “According to media reports around 947 elephants have died due to poaching, poisoning, electrocution and accidents in the last 12 years in Odisha.”

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