On Average, More Than 80 Elephants Die in Odisha Every Year

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On Average, More Than 80 Elephants Die in Odisha Every Year: RTI ReplyDisease, accidents and electrocution caused nearly a fifth of the 416 deaths recorded between 2017-18 and 2021-22.3 hours ago | Priya Ranjan Sahu Representative image of elephants in Odisha.

Replying to recent queries by Sandhyarani Mohanty, a Bhubaneswar-based RTI activist, the public information officer (PIO) of the State Wildlife Headquarters said that 416 elephants died between 2017-18 and 2021-22.

According to the last elephant census conducted in 2017, there are 1,976 elephants in Odisha. India is home to 29,964 elephants, nearly 60% of the world’s Asiatic elephant population.

A major point of concern revealed by the RTI responses is that more than half of the elephants which died due to electrocution were caused by “deliberate acts” of electrocution by poachers. Of the 61 elephants which were electrocuted, 35 were killed by poachers.

The response added that of the total deaths, as many as 159 were due to diseases, while 106 and 61 were due to accidents and electrocution respectively.

Of the elephants which died due to diseases, an overwhelming number (126) of deaths were attributed to the category of other diseases, while 24 and nine deaths were attributed to anthrax and herpes.

On the other hand, the PIO said 85 of the total 106 elephants which died in ‘accidents’ were caused by “infighting, falling from hill, etc”. Of the remaining, 17 and four elephants were killed by trains and vehicles on the road respectively.

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