246 elephants died in Odisha in last 3 years: Minister

Bhubaneswar: As many as 246 elephants were killed in Odisha in the last three years, said Bikram Keshari Arukh, Forest and Environment Minister, while speaking in the State Assembly on Tuesday.

In a written reply to a question by BJP MLA Mukesh Mahaling in the State Assembly, Arukh said: “Between 2016-17 and 2018-19, a total of 246 elephants had died due to accidents, electrocution, natural and other causes.”

As per 2017 elephant Census, Odisha has 1976 mammoths, including 330 at Simlipal forest division, Dhenkanal (169), Satakosia (147) and Athagarh (115).

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He informed that the State government has taken several steps to protect elephants.

“The State government has taken several steps for elephant protection including setting up of jumbo reserves at Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur and Mahanadi to conserve their prime habitats and the government has also launched various management interventions,” Arukh said.

“Besides, the State government is taking steps to restore 14 elephant corridors, plant saplings for the consumption of elephants, construction of water bodies and the steps are also being taken to prevent elephants from train accidents and electrocution,” he said.

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