Disturbing video footage shows the moment an endangered elephant’s corpse is dragged through the lanes of a village in eastern India after it was apparently electrocuted.
The elephant had wandered into the rice fields in Debi Simul village in West Bengal in eastern India when it accidentally touched the electric fence put up around the farms, was electrocuted and died.
A team of forest officials rushed immediately to the spot after learning of the incident and helped move the elephant’s corpse from the field.
They lifted the body using a pick up truck and sent it for a postmortem to ascertain the exact cause of death.
‘There are no external injuries but we have seen some burn marks on the trunk,’ Shri Haris, a senior forest official,’ said.
‘The initial reports suggest that the elephant has died of electrocution but the exact cause of the death can be confirmed only after a postmortem,’ Haris added.
Elephants have been troubling the farmers as they stray into the fields from the nearby jungles in search of food but end up wrecking the whole field and the harvest.
To keep them away from their farms, some frustrated farmers put up illegal electric fencing around their fields by tapping electricity from cables passing through the village.
‘We have no other way to save our farms,’ one villager said. ‘When they come in a herd of 100, we cannot think of fighting with these giants. They not only damage the crops but also out houses and attacks us.’
Indian elephants have been listed as endangered by International Union for Conservation of Nature since 1986.
There are only 600 elephants left in the wild in the state and around 30,711 in the country as per 2012 census.
But on an average 100 elephants die every year in human-animal conflict raising concerns about their survival.