Elephant tramples forest driver to death in Gadchiroli
Times of India
September 17, 2023
A wild elephant killed a forest department driver, as his superiors watched
in horror, in Palasgaon jungle under Armori forest range in Gadchiroli
district on Saturday evening.
The victim, Sudhakar Atram, Atram was part of the team of foresters led by
ACF Sandeep Bharti that was visiting compartment no. 85 in Mahadevgarh
hillocks under Armori range having presence of the herd to ensure safety
The driver had parked the vehicle along the road while the forest team was
keeping a watch on the herd when suddenly an elephant charged towards them,
said sources. The elephant lifted Atram and smashed him on the road. The
elephant again lifted Atram and threw him towards the jungle. Atram
suffered multiple injuries and died on the spot, said sources.
The team of foresters, which included Bharti, RFO, Armori, Avinash Meshram,
round officer Mukhru Kinekar, forest guards Shurkar, Balu Atkare, Roopa
Sahare and bunch of forest labourers, later chased away the elephant herd
and recovered Atram’s body. The body was sent to Desaiganj rural hospital
A herd of elephants had migrated into Gadchiroli district from neighbouring
Chhattisgarh in October 2021. An elephant had injured a farmer from Yerkad
village in Dhanora tehsil in the early days. The herd had also destroyed
several fields. The elephants had returned to Chhattisgarh before staging a
comeback with bigger numbers in August last year.
Since then the herd is moving around in Gadchiroli and bordering forests of
neighbouring Gondia and Chandrapur districts. Last year in October, a
villager was trampled to death after a mob tried to chase away the herd
near Navegaon National Park.
Gadchiroli district is grappling with human-elephant conflict for the past
two years. According to foresters, the Armori forest range officers have
been trying to rein in a herd of 19 elephants for the past eight days.
In order to deal with elephant-human conflict, forest officials are
collaborating with Hulla Team, a NGO from West Bengal. Sources in the
forest department informed that the Hulla team, led by expert Sen Gupta, is
expected to arrive on September 17 in Wadsa, where it will join forces with
local forest authorities to address the problem.