Six persons, including one woman, have been killed by marauding elephants in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district since April 10. Among them is a 70-year-old attacked on Saturday morning, when she had gone out to answer nature’s call, in the Kaurianpal village of the Sadar range. Sources said that affected villagers in the interior pockets are turning restless as human casualties rise. “The Sadar range of Dhenkanal district is now the most elephant conflict-prone area in the State, probably in the country. This area is home to over 25 elephants, with another group of over 40 elephants coming in intermittently from adjoining ranges,” said Biswajit Mohanty, an environmentalist.There were 10 elephant-human encounters in which four persons were killed and eight were injured in April 2017 in this range. “Elephants are disturbed due to obstructions such as the Rengali irrigation canal network, the National Highway… and the frequent movement of trucks in and out of industries and quarries. No sincere effort is being taken by the State Forest Department to inform people about the movement of elephants in advance,” alleged Mr. Mohanty.According to Ranjit Patnaik, a wildlife researcher, in 2017, the human-elephant encounters in Odisha touched a record high of 120, and 85 people were killed by elephants.“As far as the Dhenkanal district is concerned, 53 elephants have died in the past four years while 61 persons have been killed by jumbos. Human-elephant encounters are increasing sharply in the district,” said Mr. Patnaik.