Carcasses of four elephants and one leopard were found in forest areas in Alipurduar district in the last five days, sparking concerns that the forest department has not been able to work normally, given the incessant rainfall and the flood-like situation in the region.
Among the four elephant carcasses, one calf was found dead in the Dalgaon forest range under the Jalpaiguri forest division under the Birpara police station in the district on 12 July. On the same day, the carcass of a calf, aged four-five years, was recovered from an unused well at Koop Line in the Kalchini tea garden near the Buxa Tiger Reserve forest. Two decomposed carcass of elephants were also recovered from the Kodalbasti range of the Jaldapara National Park yesterday, it is learnt.
On the same day, a carcass of a full-grown leopard was recovered from the banks of the Pana river under the Buxa Tiger Reserve forest, it is learnt. Two carcasses of Bison were also in a day in the Jaldapara National Park last month.
“Continuous rainfall and the flood-like situation in the district has hampered normal work, like regular forest patrolling, which may have resulted in the death of the wildlife in the forests,” forest sources said.
“Incessant rainfall and inundation of forest areas after the Torsha river broke the embankment at Troli Line under the Madarihat police station has hampered normal forest work for the past 15 days. Had we been able to work normally, we would have prevented such deaths,” said a forest official associated with the Jaldapara National Park, who did not want to be named.
Forest sources said that the body parts of the elephants recovered yesterday have been sent to the lab for viscera tests.
“The state forest department has asked the North Bengal forest authorities to take steps against forest workers who were responsible for the death of the two elephants in te Jaldapara National Park,” sources said.
“The two elephants did not die due to floods or accidents. We can confirm this after we get the viscera test reports. We have asked our officials to take steps against all who neglected their duty in the area,” said the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wild Life) of the state, Rabikanta Sinha.