Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has written a letter to his cabinet colleague Union Environment minister Bhupendra Yadav expressing deep concerns about the increasing number of deaths of elephants and has sought the Centre’s intervention in this matter.
In his letter to Yadav, Pradhan said, “Considering the critical situation in Odisha, we believe that the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change’s intervention is vital. I request you to take immediate action in addressing this pressing issue to ensure the harmonious coexistence of humans and elephants in Odisha.”
Pradhan has stated that over the past decade, Odisha has lost 784 elephants, with 245 of these deaths occurring in the last three years alone. He further stated that in the month of March alone, seven deaths have been reported. Most of these deaths are reported due to poaching, electrocution or train/ road accidents.

Quoting the figures or the State Assembly where it was stated that 2776 wild animals had been killed in the past 5 years (2017-18 to 2021-22) in Odisha, including 416 elephants. Further, 669 people and 741 domestic animals died, and 9151 houses were damaged due to elephant attacks.

“Elephant conservation is of paramount importance to Odisha, as these majestic animals are an integral part of our ecological balance, cultural heritage, and the state’s identity. The well-being of these creatures is essential for maintaining the health of our forests and the livelihood of local communities that rely on them,” Pradhan wrote in his letter to the Environment Minister.
The Narendra Modi-led Central Government has shown commitment to wildlife conservation, Pradhan elaborates stating that Prime Minister Modi’s radio program, “Mann Ki Baat,” has often highlighted the importance of elephants and their conservation. The Central Government’s efforts in expanding the Protected Area Network and launching Project Elephant have set a strong foundation for the protection of these gentle giants, the Union Minister highlighted in his letter. (ANI)