Angul, Dec 31: A herd of as many as 52 elephants has created panic in and around Basala village under Bantala Forest Range in Angul district on Friday.
Chasing the pachyderms out for the nearest forest has been a challenge for the forest officials since they rampage in many directions destructing vegetation in the village.
Sources said the elephant herd with at least 5 tuskers, 7 infants, and 40 female elephants rampaged into Mundadhipa Sahi under Basala gram panchayat in the morning. Subsequently, they wreaked havoc in the surroundings and destroyed a lot of vegetables and standing crops.
Following which the locals initiated a chase operation with handmade crackers, dhol, and fire but in vain.
Being informed, Bantala Range officials rushed to the spot and joined with the villagers to get the pachyderms out of the human habitat. However, the joint operation also failed since the elephants scattered in diversified directions being scared by the chasing drive.
According to the forest officials, the operation is continued, so far on, to escort the elephants into the Kansara hill primarily, to get rid of mishaps due to the elephants. However, the Kansara forest can’t house so big herd of elephants.
More teams with elephant trackers are being mobilized from the Angul Forest Division, to expel the pachyderms to Kanja, Hindol, Raigoda, and Satakosia wildlife division as soon as possible, he added.
At the same time, Hindol and Dhenkanal forest wings are also vigilant to manage the access of the herd into their territories.