Elephant population rises in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, June 29 (IANS) Despite the death of 231 elephants in the past three years in Odisha, their population in the state has increased to 1,954 this year from the 1,930 recorded in the 2012 census.

The 2015 Elephant Census report released by Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh on Monday revealed that this had happened in spite of the man-animal conflict and scores of jumbo deaths.

As per the census, 341 elephants were identified as tuskers and 1,096 as cow elephants. Some 490 of them were below five years old.

Arukh said the census carried out in 44 forest divisions engaged 5,600 people.

He said the elephant population had shown a positive growth in 26 divisions and a negative growth in 14 divisions.

The minister said 213 jumbos died from 2012-13 to May 2015. While 49 died due to disease, 20 died due to poaching and five were poisoned.

Fourteen elephants were deliberately and nine accidentally electrocuted.

Thirteen others were hit by trains and vehicles.

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