Report by Aditya Kumar; Dhenkanal: A wild elephant entered the Dhenkanal town and injured three people on Thursday morning. The injured were taken to the Dhenkanal headquarters hospital where one of them was in critical condition. The forest department arrived the spot, minutes after the loss was done. The officials also stopped power supply into the town to save the elephant from electrocution.
It was around nine o’clock in the morning when the tusker was first spotted around Dakhina Kali region. From there it moved near Haripur bypass and injured three people at two different spots. Those injured were around Barjuda Canal when the elephant crushed them at the blink of an eye. However, others present on the spot managed to escape.
“I was taking bath when the elephant came here to drink water. I rushed out from the water as soon as I saw the elephant from a fair distance,” said a local resident who was present on the spot.
“Our staff are limited, we cannot be everywhere at a time. We were on the other side of the jungle. We arrived here as soon as we got the news. We have cleared the spot to prevent further mishappening,” said Dhenkanal Sadar Forester Ravi Narayan Nayak, when their unavailability on the spot was questioned.
Dhenkanal Assistant Conservator of Forest, Jitendra Nath Das, has said that their team is vigilant and the elephant could not create further damage. But where the injured were ignorant of the tusker in the town, the onus seems to be on the forest department whose sloppiness led to the loss. Yet, they have got no control of the elephant and the loss could count more people. Along with the safety of people, the safety of elephant is also a concern. As few months ago, seven elephants died in a day due to electrocution in Dhenkanal.