A 25-year-old tusker was electrocuted at Giridhaprasad village in Hindol block of the district on Monday. The incident occurred when the tusker was trying to touch a mango tree with its trunk.
Following the incident, villagers alleged that low lying live electricity wires are the prime reasons behind elephant deaths in the district and accused CESU officials of negligence. As many as 65 elephants have died in six years between April 2010 and May 2016 in the district due to various reasons. The casualty figure in the State stands at 434.
Dhenkanal district has the dubious distinction of registering the highest number of attacks on elephants in the State. In many cases, the reason behind deaths could not be ascertained due to late detection of the carcasses.
Secretary of Wildlife Society of Odisha (WSO), Biswajit Mohanty and representative, Elephant Family Odisha, Ranjit Patnaik said elephants mostly die due to poaching with weapons, poisoning and electrocution; train accidents and sagging electrical wires.
Most of the deaths have been reported from Hindol and Sadangi forest ranges where Rengali irrigation project obstructs the elephant corridor. Besides, loss of habitat and illegal quarrying are also responsible for high elephant mortality.
Human casualties have also been rising in the tussle with wild animals. At least 30 people were killed by elephants in 2014-16 upto May while 28 elephants were killed. Forest Department has paid `2.32 crore as compensation to the kin of the deceased and for crop loss till March this year.
Elephants mostly die due to poaching with weapons, poisoning and electrocution; train accidents and sagging electrical wires. Most of the deaths have been reported from Hindol and Sadangi forest ranges