Bhubaneswar: As many as 282 elephants and 17 tigers have died in the State during the past three years and four months, Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha said in the Assembly on Tuesday.
Replying to a question asked by Prafulla Samal, Minister Mr.Arukha said 93 elephants died in 2018 while 82 jumbos died in 2019, 77 in 2020 and 30 during the current year (till August).
He said out of the 282 dead elephants, seven were poached, 43 died due to electrocution, 13 were killed in train mishaps, four in road accidents and 59 due to others mishaps.
Similarly, 101 due to illness and 34 have died due to old age while the cause of the death of the remaining 21 is not known, the Minister said.
Giving details of the death of 17 tigers, Mr.Arukha said one Royal Bengal tiger was electrocuted and another died due to a disease.
Besides, as many as 15 leopards had died during the same period. Of them, 5 were killed by poachers, one died in a train mishap, 2 died of old age and four succumbed to diseases. The cause of death of three leopards is not known, he said.
The Forest Minister said the tiger population has been increasing in the State. While 1930 jumbos were there in the State in 2012, the number increased to 1954 in 2015 and 1976 in 2017.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) jointly conduct the tiger census every four years. The last census was conducted in 2018, when 28 tigers were detected in Odisha, he said.
The number of tigers found in 2014 was also the same. So there is no decrease in the tiger population in Odisha. However, the NTCA has not mentioned about the two tiger cubs captured in camera in Similipal tiger reserve, Mr.Arukha informed.
To curb poaching of wild animals, the State Government has formed anti-poaching and anti-smuggling squads in the sensitive areas.