Bhawanipatna: At least four female elephants have died within 11 days at Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, official sources said.
The latest jumbo death was reported on Thursday when the forest officials found carcasses of a female elephant by the side of Ghusurigudi Nullha, a water body inside the sanctuary.
Similarly, one elephant death was reported on February 10 and 9 from the same Ghusurigudi area, the official said.
According to information, the first such incident came to the light on February 1 after officials found a dead female elephant near Tentulipada village inside the sanctuary.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Sashi Pal said the jumbo deaths were due to some bacterial infection.
The water bodies in the sanctuary could have been infected, he said.
From the post mortem conducted it was revealed that the dead elephant was pregnant and the death is due to Septicemia, an official said.
Divisional Forest Officer, Kalahandi (South Division), Ashok Kumar said that the post mortem of the dead elephant has been conducted by the veterinary surgeon and the report is awaited. The lab test of the first elephant conducted in the Centre for wildlife Health OUAT in Bhubaneswar reveal that it is due to Haemorrhage Septicemia, he said.
Official sources said separate herds in Karlapat wildlife sanctuary as per 2018 wildlife census.
The DFO said the villagers are advised not to allow their cattle inside the forest as it is suspected that the water bodies could be contaminated for some reason or the other.
Stagnant water is treated with bleaching powder to avoid further spread of infection and water samples were collected from different spots for testing, he said.
Now forest staff have been directed to conduct a field survey and trekking of the elephant herds is in progress, he said, adding that it is not yet known whether any other species of wild animals are also affected.
The DFO further said that experts from the College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology will soon be reaching the sanctuary for on-the spot analysis.
Spread over an area of 175 square km in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is the home of many wildlife species like tiger, leopard, sambar, nilgai, barking deer, mouse deer, a wide variety of birds like green munia, great eared-nightjar and various reptiles apart from elephants.