A herd of 28 elephants have wreaked havoc in Rairakhol in Sambalpur district since last 10 days. The animals have entered Kholgarh, Henteri, Badhindol, Charmal, Dhanrakhaman, Laiza, Taal and Luhapank villages and destroyed paddy and houses.
Forest department sources said at least two houses have been completely damaged by the elephants in Taal and Luhapank villages because the pachyderms entered the house in search of food. “We are spending sleepless nights because we never know when the elephants would come and destroy our houses” said Dasrathi Pradhan, a resident of Taal.
“We have tried different methods to drive the heard away but it is a difficult task because they come during the night,” he said, adding the damages are more because the animals move in the crop fields.
Forest staffs are also finding it difficult to drive the animals away. “They are migratory animals and keep moving from one place to another. Our squads track their movement and alert people about them,” said forest ranger (Rairkhol) Pradeep Kumar Sethi.
He said the elephants come to Rairkhol division in search of food as they do not get enough inside the jungle. “One elephant needs at least one and half quintals of food every day,” he said.