An adult male elephant was electrocuted after it came in contact with a live wire in Chhattisgarh's Gariaband district on Monday, an official said. With this incident, three jumbos have died of electrocution in the last six days in the state.
The latest fatality occurred in the wee hours of Monday at a paddy field in Paragaon village under the Dhawalpur forest range when a herd of 22 to 25 elephants was passing through the area, Divisional Forest Officer, Gariaband division, Mayank Agrawal said. After being alerted about it, forest personnel rushed to the spot, and the autopsy was done, Agarwal added.
"In the past, no movement of elephants was reported in the area. This big herd of pachyderms ventured into the area from the adjoining Odisha border via Udanti Sitanadi Tiger Reserve," Agrawal said. According to officials preliminary investigation has revealed that the tusker came in contact with an 11 KV power transmission line, which was hanging at a low height above the field, and got electrocuted.
Locals claimed they had earlier complained about the low-lying power lines, but no action was taken. "Prima facie, it seems that negligence on part of the electricity department led to the death of the elephant. We will be filing a case in this connection and further action will be taken accordingly," Agarwal said. He further added that the electricity department should ensure that 11 KV and 33 KV transmission lines should be laid at the prescribed height and not below it.
Earlier, on Friday night, an elephant died of electrocution after coming in contact with a live wire laid by poachers to trap wild boar in Mahasamund district. Another jumbo died after it came in contact with an electric wire laid illegally at a farm by a cultivator in Raigarh district on September 23. In the last four months, 11 elephants have died in separate districts of the state due to various causes, including electrocution.
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