The tusks of a young male elephant, aged around 20 or 22 years, that was killed after it came in contact with live electric wires near Talakona in Chittoor district were removed for safe keeping by forest officials. Later the carcass of the tusker was buried.
The tusks will be destroyed after the incident report is sent, along with the post-mortem report, to the AP chief wildlife warden, divisional forest officer of Tirupati, Subba Reddy said.
He said this measure was to prevent people from digging up the elephant’s body for the valuable tusks and selling them. Possession or sale of elephant tusks is a serious crime under the Wildlife Protection Act. “The elephant died on Monday after it came in contact with three live electric wires that were hanging just about seven feet above the ground. The animal was about nine and a half feet tall and was about a year or two away from reaching breeding age and is a big loss,” Subba Reddy said.
As soon as we got the information on Monday, we rushed to the spot and conducted a post-mortem, he added. The forest department, he said, also sought an explanation from the electricity department as to why the supply lines were left hanging so low.
The young bull elephant was a loner and must have strayed out of the Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary by taking a route over a stream, he said. There is another local herd of about 25 elephants in the area that includes five calves, Subba Reddy said.
Normally, some of the elephants leave the forest and enter the eco-sensitive area in the 10 km radius, especially around summer during the mango season. Though the season of the fruit is now over, the herd is still in the plains and has not moved back to the forested area of the sanctuary on the plateau, he added.