BHUBANESWAR: Expressing concern over the death of six elephants in Karlapat wildlife sanctuary in Kalahandi district in the last fortnight, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday asked the authorities concerned to take immediate corrective measures in consultation with experts at the State and national level.
Reviewing the situation at a high-level meeting through video conference, the Chief Minister asked the departments of Forests and Environment and Animal Resources Development (ARD) to take coordinated steps to stop the elephant deaths.
He asked the district collector, divisional forest officer and the chief district veterinary officer to ensure vaccination of domestic animals in the villages inside the sanctuary and nearby areas.
Besides, he directed the officials to ensure that all ponds inside the sanctuary are disinfected and samples of water in them sent for examination. So far, 25 out of the total 43 ponds in the region have been disinfected.
Six out of the eight elephants of a herd inside the sanctuary have died due to hemorrhagic septicaemia caused by a bacteria Pasteurella Multocida, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a release after the review.
The Chief Minister was informed at the meeting that two more herds of elephants have been spotted in the region. He asked the officials to track them and ensure that they do not come in contact with elephants from the herd which had contracted the disease.
Ten teams have been formed comprising range officers, foresters and forest guards to keep a watch on the movement of elephant herds in the region.
The CMO said that steps are being taken to constitute two experts teams of the Forest and ARD departments to monitor the situation.
The Inspector General of Project Elephant and Director of Wildlife Institute of India has been requested to send a team to Odisha to assess the situation and recommend further course of action.
Meanwhile, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Shashi Paul, accompanied by a team from State Animal Disease Research Institute, made a field visit to the affected area and instructed officials to ensure continuous monitoring of elephant herds there.
Two other herds are five to eight km away from the infected area. They are being continuously tracked, officials said.