Bhubaneswar: Poachers shot dead an elephant and brutally hacked around its tusks to extract ivory in the Redhakhol Forest Range in Sambalpur district of Orissa, forest officials said Sunday.
The tusker`s mutilated body was found Sunday by officials during the ongoing elephant census in Rampur area of the forest range, over 300 km from here.
"The elephant was killed near a water body. It received two gun shots. The ivory was then extracted with sharp weapons," said Prafulla Kumar Sahu, a forest guard.
Range Officer Tankadhar Behera said: "We have lodged a case and started investigation into the matter."
The Orissa wildlife department Thursday started a survey to determine the number of wild elephants in the state.
According to a 2007 census, there were 1,862 elephants in Orissa. A government report states that over 300 elephants have been killed in the state in the past six years.