Andhra Pradesh

Wild elephant electrocuted in Chittoor district

Carcass of a wild elephant, which was electrocuted in the fields near Bangarupalem in Chittoor district.

Carcass of a wild elephant, which was electrocuted in the fields near Bangarupalem in Chittoor district.  

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Jumbo came into a contact with 11kv power cable, says forest official

A wild elephant from the Koundinya wildlife sanctuary, which strayed into the fields, was electrocuted after coming into contact with an overhead 11KV power cable at Moghilivaripalle village of Bangarupalem mandal on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.

According to information, a herd of more than a dozen wild elephants marched into fields of the village with standing crops of sugarcane and paddy at around 10 p.m. on Sunday. Their rampage continued till small hours, while the farmers kept away from making any bid to drive them away since it being a large herd.

The farmers at night vigil in the surroundings reported wild trumpeting of the herd between 12 midnight (of Sunday) and 3 a.m. (Monday). Receiving information from the elephant-trackers about the death of the pachyderm, a team of forest officials had reached the spot in the small hours, and reported the matter to the higher officials.

The Forest Range Officer (Palamaner) said that the cause of the elephant’s death was due to electrocution. “It’s a huge animal and while passing under a sagging 11KV power line, it came into contact with it, resulting in the tragedy. There is absolutely nothing wrong on the part of the landowner,” the official said.

Interestingly, the elephant which met its tragic end strayed away from the main herd and collapsed a distance away after getting electrocuted. Had the entire herd moved in the same direction, it would have been a major tragedy to the herd, it was observed.

Heavy rains

In view of the heavy rains in Bangarupalem mandal since a few days, the soil in the field and the adjoining forests had turned slippery and muddy, making it difficult for shifting the huge carcass into the forest area for burial.

Meanwhile, a team of veterinarians from SV Veterinary University and SV Zoo Park performed autopsy on the deceased elephant, while the forest officials collected the tusks and the visceral material from the carcass as part of the official formalities. Convincing the landowner, the burial of the animal was completed in the field itself late in the evening.

This is the sixth wild elephant to die, including four due to electrocution and two to internal fighting among herds, so far in 2019, at various recesses of the wildlife sanctuary and abutting fields. A couple of months ago, two male elephants were electrocuted in the fields near Chittoor. A tenant farmer who had arranged the live wires for wild boars led to the death of jumbos. The forest officials had come to know about the episode nearly a fortnight after the two animals were clandestinely buried in the field.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 5:41:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/wild-elephant-electrocuted-in-chittoor-district/article30139896.ece

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