Killing of elephant at Pulpally: one surrenders (India)


The Hindu

Date Published

One person surrendered before forest officials at Pulpally on Tuesday in connection with the killing of a cow elephant at Athirattukunnu, near Kenichira, in Wayanad on Sunday morning.

The officials identified him as Gopalakrishnan, 51, of Olividavu at Athirattukunnu.

The carcass of the elephant, aged about 20, was found with wounds, similar to bullet injuries, on its head on a paddy field of Gopalakrishnan adjacent to the Pathiri section of forest under the Chethalayath range of the South Wayanad Forest Division.

Veterinarians had recovered a pellet from its skull during autopsy.

Gopalakrishnan confessed during interrogation that he had erected an illegal power fence with aluminium cable around his paddy field during night to ward off wildlife, especially elephants, Chethalayath forest range officer Sajikumar Rayaroth told The Hindu .

The fence was connected with a power plug used for household purposes.

The animal was electrocuted when it came into contact with the fence around 4.30 a.m. on the day, Mr. Sajikumar added.

Later, he made three holes on the elephant’s head with an iron rod after removing the cable used as fence to dupe the officials.

The officials seized the aluminium cable, a hammer, and a sharp-edged iron rod used for drilling holes on the elephant’s head from his house.

The pellet retrieved from its skull might have been from an encounter with poachers in the past, Forest Department sources said.

The accused was charged under various Sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and the Kerala Forest Act, 1961. He would be produced before the First Class Judicial Magistrate Court at Sulthan Bathery.