Andhra Pradesh

Elephant deaths: 3 held, one absconding

Forest officials exhuming the carcasses of two wild elephants at Abbugutta, near Chittoor, on Tuesday.

Forest officials exhuming the carcasses of two wild elephants at Abbugutta, near Chittoor, on Tuesday.  

The pachyderms were electrocuted when they came in contact with live power cables laid to keep wild boars at bay

Chittoor (West) division forest officials on Tuesday arrested three persons in connection with the death of two wild elephants 10 days ago, and the secret burial of the carcasses in the fields at a village of Irala mandal, 35 km from here.

While the arrested have been identified as P. Subramanyam, P. Lokanadham and Gurumurthy Reddy, all belonging to Abbugutta village, P.V. Srinivasulu, an earthmover operator, is at large.

The forest officials on Monday evening detected the covert burial of two wild elephants after they died allegedly due to electrocution. The carcasses were exhumed as part of investigation. After post-mortem was conducted by a team of veterinary doctors, the carcasses were cremated at the fields close to Abbugutta village.

Two elephants missing

Divisional Forest Officer Suneel Kumar Reddy said that about 10 days ago, the forest staff monitoring the movement of wild elephants in Irala and adjoining mandals noticed the movement of a herd of four elephants. While two members of the herd were seen making a retreat towards Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, two others went missing. After a week-long search in the forests, the officials received information about the death of two elephants and their secret burial.

The two elephants were reportedly electrocuted when they entered the field of a tenant farmer and allegedly came in contact with live power cables illegally laid by a tenant farmer to prevent wild boars from destroying the crops. Fearing action from forest officials and registering of criminal cases, the farmer reportedly sought the help of an earthmover and secretly buried the carcasses in two pits.

“Both the elephants are sub-adult males. Except for burying the carcasses, the accused did not tamper with the carcasses, and the tusks were intact. It was revealed that the power lines were erected to deal with wild boars, and there is no intention or plan behind the electrocution of the elephants,” the DFO said.

Officials collected tusks and visceral samples from the decomposed carcasses, before cremating them. Criminal cases under the Wildlife Protection Act were booked against the accused.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 4:13:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/elephant-deaths-3-held-one-absconding/article29694320.ece

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