An adult tusker died of electrocution in Talagarh forested areas under the Baantala forest range of Angul district after the animal had come in contact with a live wire.
The live wire trap might have been laid out by suspected poachers for the killing of wild elephants. Besides, the farmers in these areas also resort to lay live wire to protect the croplands from wild animals’ intrusion. All possible angles leading to the tusker’s death are being examined, said Prasanna Kumar Behera, Divisional Forest Officer, Angul Forest Division.
The jumbo’s body was spotted during wee hours by anti-poaching squad personnel. The tusk of the male elephant was however intact, said the forest official.
The post mortem of the animal body will be conducted tomorrow. A search operation is on to nab the suspected poachers, added the officials.
It may be recalled here that three elephants were electrocuted in Dhenkanal, Ganjam, and Angul districts in June. On 15 June, a female elephant had perished after coming in contact with a live wire in Jagannathpur village in the Angul forest division. Besides, a tusker and a female elephant were also electrocuted in Ganjam and Dhenkanal districts during the first week of June.
Live wire poaching traps, sagging overhead lines, and electrified fences result in the electrocution of these national heritage animals. The majority of the electrocution deaths are attributed to live wire poaching. Since 2010, around 100 electrocution deaths of elephants have occurred in Odisha. The shrinkage of forest cover, which used to be the habitation corridors of elephants, has led these animals to stray into village areas in search of food. This is resulting in man-elephant conflict and fatalities of protected animals including elephants, said conservationists.