Wild elephant electrocuted in Kerala

Published on Sep 14, 2022 11:48 PM IST

Forest officials said they suspect the 15-year-old female elephant could have been electrocuted from a trap laid to catch wild boars in Mundur area. Later, they recovered 350-metre long wire tied near the fence of the estate.

A wild elephant was electrocuted at a private estate in Kerala’s Palakkad district on Wednesday. (Representative Photo/AFP)
A wild elephant was electrocuted at a private estate in Kerala’s Palakkad district on Wednesday. (Representative Photo/AFP)
By, Thiruvananthapuram

A wild elephant was electrocuted at a private estate in Kerala’s Palakkad district on Wednesday.

Forest officials said they suspect the 15-year-old female elephant could have been electrocuted from a trap laid to catch wild boars in Mundur area. Later, they recovered 350-metre long wire tied near the fence of the estate.

Local people said elephants used to raid their village frequently and they saw three elephants in the area last night. They said the estate owner was staying in Palakkad town and he used to visit his property rarely.

They suspect that wires would have been fixed by local hunters to catch wild boars. Range officer N Vivek said exact cause of death could be ascertained only after post-mortem and a case was registered.

In May this year, two policemen were electrocuted near a police camp in Palakkad. Fishing in the night, they came in contact with a live wire trap to kill wild boars. Later, police arrested two farmers in connection with the case.

Many such accidental cases were reported from the state in the past few years.

In 2020, a 15-year-old pregnant elephant died in Malappuram after it chewed a cracker-filled pineapple. After the incident, the elephant rushed to a nearby river and stood there for days together with her trunk and head immersed in the water to nurse its injuries for a week before the locals alerted the forest officials, who rushed to save it but it succumbed to the injuries.

According to a RTI reply filed by activist Govindan Namboodiri last year, 474 jumbos were electrocuted in the country from 2014 to 2020 and maximum 81 deaths were reported in 2018. Highest casualties were reported from Assam 90 followed by Odisha 73 and Tamil Nadu 68. Kerala reported 24 deaths during this period.

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