Molasses,jackfruit attract migrant bull elephant

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Baripada, Jul 18(UNI) Scent of molasses or 'Handia' (a local brew) and ripe jackfruit lured a migrant bull elephant from Midnapore to raid village orchards under Morada and Betnoti block of Mayurbhanj district.

Forest department sources said the lone tusker migrated from neighbouring West Bengal's east Midnapore district and sneaked into Orissa's Mayurbhanj district. It shifted its area of depredations to Betnoti block since Wednesday.

Rasgovindpur Range Officer Promode Chandra Das said a team of 25 field staff of the forest department, including volunteers from the Simlipal Tiger Protection Force(SPTP), were on their toes to push the elephant back to its wild habitat.

The pachyderm had harboured itself in the Asanbani reserve forest near Baghmara village under Betnoti Range, Mr.Das said.

The team,Mr.Das said, was trying to keep the bull elephant away from human habitation by beating empty tins, lighting bonfire and bursting crackers.

Sukul Murmu, a tribal villager under Betnoti block said, ''chill ran down my spine when the elephant attacked me on Wednesday. I narrowly escaped with a sprain in my waist.'' UNI XC DP PL RD 1441

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