Tamil Nadu

Two elephants die in accidental electrocution

Two elephants died near Gudalur after coming in contact with a live wire.

Two elephants died near Gudalur after coming in contact with a live wire.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement;Special Arrangement -

They came into contact with the fence on which a power cable fell

Two elephants were electrocuted after they came into contact with a snapped powerline in Chermully village in Srimadurai beat in the Gudalur Forest Division.

District Forest Officer, Gudalur Division, P K Dileep, said that a herd of seven elephants was passing through the area on late Thursday night where a plantation of areca palms on private property had been set up. The animals were feeding on the palm trees and had apparently uprooted one of them which came into contact with an overhead electricity cable.

“The electricity line snapped and fell on a piece of regular wire fencing put up by the farmer. The two elephants came into contact with the fence and got electrocuted,” said G. Ramakrishnan, Gudalur Forest Ranger.

Locals noticed the herd protecting the two dead pachyderms on Friday morning and alerted forest department officials. The two dead elephants, one male and one female, are believed to be between 10 and 20 years of age. The herd refused to leave the side of the two animals and charged at forest staff trying to get to them.

Grieving calf

“A young calf, less than 3-years-old, was the one which was most aggressive and didn’t allow us to get close to the animals. Even after they were chased away, they refused to leave and watched what we were doing,” said Mr. Ramakrishnan. The forest department does not think that the female which died was the mother of the calf which charged at them. Officials also confirmed that the calf had rejoined the herd, which is being closely monitored as the entire group is extremely stressed.

Forest veterinarian, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, E. Vijayaraghavan, performed an autopsy on the carcasses of the two animals. The carcasses were buried after the procedure was completed.

No action

No action is being considered by the forest department as the electrocutions were purely accidental. “The deaths were the consequence of a series of unfortunate events, and no one is responsible for the deaths of the animals,” said Mr. Dileep.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:19:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/two-elephants-die-in-accidental-electrocution/article19520256.ece

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