Wildlife Tragedy in Odisha: Loss of 698 Elephants, 48 Leopards, and 7 Tigers between 2015-2023
Between 2015 and September 25, 2023, Pradip Amat, the Forest and Environment Minister, shared alarming statistics with the Odisha Assembly. A total of 698 elephants, 48 leopards, and seven royal Bengal tigers perished due to various factors, including diseases, electrocution, train accidents, road accidents, poaching, and poisoning.
MLA Prafulla Samal posed an unstarred question about these losses and inquired about steps taken to mitigate them. In response, Minister Amat outlined efforts such as reinforcing natural habitats, planting elephant fodder plants, developing pasture grounds, and creating artificial ponds. Furthermore, measures were implemented to combat wildfires and poaching.
Concerning man-elephant conflicts, Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati sought information on human casualties. Minister Amat reported that over the last five years, 602 people fell victim to elephant attacks, while elephants killed 127 domestic animals and demolished 611 houses during the same period.