The 2017 Elephant Census report released by Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray on Monday that the elephant population in Odisha has increased marginally to 1,976 this year from 1,954 recorded in 2015.
As per the report the number of elephants rose by 22 in the state as against the 2015 census.
344 elephants were identified as tuskers and 1,092 as cow elephants. There are 502 young elephants in the state. The Forest Department could not identify the sex of 38 elephants.
1450 elephants were enumerated in three elephant reserves such as- Mayurbhanj, Mahanadi and Sambalpur.
These 3 elephant reserve accounted for 74.21% of the total elephant population of the state.
Five other sanctuaries have an elephant population of 79. The Forest Department officials have counted 361 elephants outside the elephant reserves and sanctuaries.
Compared to 2015, the male population is up by three. However, the number of female elephants has decreased by four. The number of young elephants has gone up by 12, according to the census report.
The highest number(330) of elephants was found in the Similipal reserve (core areas) while 169 were counted in Dhenkanal division. The Forest Department engaged 5,847 persons for the census work.