282 elephants, two tigers, 15 leopards died since 2018 in Odisha: Govt
At least 282 elephants, two tigers and 15 leopards have been killed in Odisha due to poaching, electrocution, train accidents and several other reasons since 2018-19, Forest and Environment Minister BK Arukha informed the assembly on Tuesday.
Replying to a question raised by BJD member Prafulla Samal, the minister said 93 jumbos died in 2018-19, 82 in 2019-20, 77 in 2020-21 and 30 till August 31 of 2021-22.
Of the 282 elephants, seven were poached, 13 were killed in train mishaps, four in road accidents, 43 died due to electrocution, 135 due to illness and old age-related ailments and 59 due to other reasons. Arukha said one Royal Bengal tiger was electrocuted and another died due to illness during the period.
Five leopards were killed by poachers, one was killed in a train mishap, six died of old age-related complications and four succumbed to diseases since 2018-19. The cause of death of three leopards is not known, he informed the House.
The minister said the elephant population in the state is on a rising trend as there were 1,930 jumbos in 2012 and the number rose to 1,976 in 2017.
According to the last tiger census in 2018, 28 were detected in Odisha, he said.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) jointly conduct the tiger census every four years. The number of tigers found in 2014 was the same. He said the state government has set up several anti-poaching and anti-smuggling squads in sensitive areas in order to curb such illegal activities.
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