Coimbatore

Eight animals electrocuted in Gudalur

They were hit by power leakage from a high-tension line in a private estate

An elephant, four wild boars, two mongooses and a cobra died after being electrocuted due to power leakage from a high-tension line in Cherambadi Range in Gudalur.

The electrocutions occurred over a week but Forest Department staff found the remains of the animals only on Tuesday and post-mortems were conducted on Wednesday.

Lack of maintenance

The forest officials said a high-tension power line was passing through a private tea estate in Cherambadi, carrying power to Erumadu village, located along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.

The lack of maintenance could have led to the leakage, officials said.

Forest officials think that the elephant, an eight-year-old tusker, could be the first of the victims, followed by the four wild boars that had come to scavenge on the remains of the pachyderm, then the mongooses and the cobra.

“We think that the incident happened around a week ago, but as it happened inside a private estate, we received information about the incident only on Tuesday,” said Sumesh Soman, District Forest Officer, Gudalur.

Postmortem

A postmortem was conducted on the remains of the animals on Wednesday.

Forest department officials said that a case has been registered against the Tangedco lineman for negligence, while top officials have also written to the superintending engineer calling for better maintenance of power lines, electricity poles and increasing the height of power cables to ensure that animals do not accidentally come in contact with them.

“The Forest Department has already written to Tangedco to ensure safety of wildlife numerous times in the past, we will once again reiterate our request,” a senior official said.

Tangedco officials said they would step-up regular maintenance of power lines in the Gudalur region, while also looking into the possibility of raising the height of power lines from the ground level in areas requested by the Forest Department.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 12:23:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/eight-animals-electrocuted-in-gudalur/article30925790.ece

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