Tusker electrocuted in Bhavani Sagar Dam

The wild elephant that was found electrocuted in a banana plantation in the water spread area of Bhavani Sagar Dam at Sirumugai in Coimbatore on Wednesday.  

A male wild elephant was electrocuted after it came into contact with an illegal electric fence erected around a banana plantation at Bhavani Sagar Dam in Sirumugai, Coimbatore, in the early hours of Wednesday.

Forest Department officials said that the tusker, aged around 10, was found dead in the water spread area of the dam that comes under the control of the Water Resources Organisation of the Public Works Department (PWD), Bhavani Sagar Dam.

The Department has taken into custody Nazar Ali, who had encroached upon the water spread area for cultivation and erected the electric fence around the plantation.

This is reportedly the eighth elephant electrocuted in Coimbatore Forest Division since May 2016. Of these, six were male elephants.

In June 2018, the Madras High Court had directed the State Government to remove electric fences erected by farmers in water spread area of the dam as it was posing a threat to wild animals. Following the court order, the Forest Department and the Water Resources Organisation of PWD removed illegal fences erected by farmers over a distance of 20 km along both sides of the water spread area of the dam.

However, farmers started encroaching the water spread area again when the water level in the storage area receded. The Hindu in its columns on January 29 had highlighted that these farmers had encroached the area without obtaining lease from the Water Resources Organisation.

Assistant Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore Circle, A. Udhayan, said that District Forest Officer D. Venkatesh held talks with the PWD to put an end to installation of illegal electric fences.

While fences powered with direct current (DC energiser) leaves mild intermittent shock to scare animal, farmers often connect alternative current (AC) to the fences, which leads to electrocution.

The carcass of the elephant was autopsied in the presence of representatives from environmental NGOs.

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Printable version | May 4, 2021 11:14:50 PM |

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