The three-year-old tusker, a part of a herd of elephants moving through the area at the time, bit into a 200-metre-long electric cable that was being used to pump water out of a nearby borewell in the estate.
In yet another casualty of the never-ending human-animal conflict in Kerala, a three-year-old wild elephant was killed after it accidentally bit a live electric wire lying on the ground inside a rubber estate adjoining the forest near Malampuzha in Palakkad district.
The incident was reported early Tuesday morning after the animal’s carcass was discovered by locals in Anakkal estate, following which forest authorities were alerted.
The three-year-old tusker, a part of a herd of elephants moving through the area at the time, bit into a 200-metre-long electric cable that was being used to pump water out of a nearby borewell in the estate, said Palakkad Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Kurra Srinivas.
The tusker, electrocuted on the spot, is reported to have died soon after. However, for several hours, the herd was seen encircling the carcass and forest authorities had to chase them away in order to retrieve the body and perform an autopsy.
In fact, a cell-phone video shot by one of the locals showed heartrending scenes of another elephant trying in vain to revive the three-year-old tusker.
Srinivas said the electric connection to the borewell was found to be illegal and no permission was taken from the state electricity board. Hence, the forest department would register a case against those who had taken the illegal connection that eventually caused the tusker’s death. No arrests had been made till Wednesday night.
He said that although solar fences have been erected along the estate-forest borders, elephants could easily break them and cross over into human settlements. There have been complaints by locals about damage to farms and plantations by elephant herds earlier too.
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