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Three wild tuskers die in a day, male elephant population dwindling in Odisha

The carcass of a 25-year-old male elephant was found in Jamarahata forest under Deogarh forest division of Angul district. It is suspected that the tusker died of poisoning.

SNS | BHUBANESWAR |

The death of three wild tuskers in a day in the forest areas of the State has become a cause of bother given the fact that Odisha’s elephant population is marked by gender imbalance.

The State lost three male elephants on 23 October in the forest divisions of undivided Dhenkanal districts and the cause of their deaths is still under investigation.

It is pertinent to note here that the gender imbalance is fast emerging as a major threat to the elephant population growth in Odisha with the drastic drop in the numbers of adult breeding tuskers.

The State is home to 1976 elephants conferred the national heritage animal tag. The female species hugely outnumber the population of males. That does not augur well in the overall growth of these heritage animals. The death of three tuskers in a day has come in as disconcerting development at a time when the elephant fatality is on a steady rise in the State, remarked conservationists.

As against 1,902 female species, the male population of elephants stands abysmally low at 344. The conservative figures put adult males including sub-adults at about 150-175 but the large adult breeding males above the age of 20 to 25 could be as less as 80 to 100. Mating by immature males will lead to birth of more and unhealthier calves resulting in higher mortality, they added.

A 15-year-old tusker was electrocuted after coming in contact with live wire laid by poachers at Kamarei forest under Kaniha forest range in Angul district.

The carcass of a 25-year-old male elephant was found in Jamarahata forest under Deogarh forest division of Angul district. It is suspected that the tusker died of poisoning.

In another death of tusker, a seven-year-old sick tusker died while undergoing treatment at Lahada reserve forest under Sarangi range in Dhenkanal district died of suspected septicemia. The death of these tuskers was reported on 23 October, said officials.