Two more jumbos electrocuted in Odisha (India)


Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Date Published
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Two more elephants died of suspected electrocution today at Tithipali reserve forest in Odisha’s Sonepur district.

The two female pachyderms died after coming in contact with live wire.
As per reports, the jumbos died after coming in contact with solar fencing wire. It is suspected that someone had charged the fencing wire.
Though the reason behind the deaths was yet to be ascertained, the local forest officials suspect that the pachyderms might have died after coming in contacts with solar fencing wire.
The post-mortem report would reveal the reason of death, the officials added.
It may be recalled that two forest officials were put on suspension last month for dereliction of duty.
Bargarh Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) put the two staff—a Forester and a Forest Guard– under suspension for dereliction of duty that allegedly caused deaths of two female elephants on October 23.
The pachyderms reportedly died after coming in contact with live wires, when they entered into paddy fields in search of food, reportedly laid down by locals to hunt wild boars.
The incident had taken place in the Junani forest under the Bargarh forest division in western Odisha.

Man-animal Conflict: Two Elephants Fall Victim
By Express News Service 
23rd November 2015
BHUBANESWAR/SONEPUR:Between the man and the animal, a group of villagers in Sonepur’s Tarbha block has shown that the former could be the real beast when it comes to matters of livelihood. Angry that their crop was raided by the jumbos, the villagers charged a solar-fence with high voltage power leaving two adult elephants electrocuted on early Sunday morning.
A herd of 15 elephants had pulled down the solar-fences to enter crop fields at Bahiramuhan on late hours of Saturday. While they were raiding the crops, a group of villagers used a hook to draw power from a transformer located about 350 metres away and energised the fence. On their way back, two female elephants came in contact with the charged fence and died.
The incident, which took place near Tithipali Reserve Forest, has shocked the Forest Department, now reeling under a rising spate of electrocution death of elephants even as Energy Department and the discoms have paid little attention to poor infrastructure and safety measures in the elephant habitat areas of the State.
While accidental electrocution is attributed to negligence on part of the discoms as well as the field staff of Forest Department, it is the deliberate electrocution which has caused the real worry.
“Villagers have been adopting new methods to target the elephants which is a matter of serious concern. Despite sensitisation at the grassroots level, the deliberate electrocution has not stopped,” Chief Wildlife Warden SS Srivastava admitted.
Incidentally, residents of the village where Sunday’s incident took place had earlier threatened that they would resort to electrocution tactics to prevent crop raiding by the elephants.
Srivastava said the Department has been using its field offices to campaign about the compensation scheme for loss of crop and house damage so that villagers do not take a hostile stand against the jumbos.
“Since the elephants arrive in groups, we try to ensure that the herd is not disturbed and allowed to feed on the crop. Any attempt to scare and chase them away could prove disastrous leading to house damage and even loss of lives,” Srivasatava said. He said the wildlife wing will now take up awareness drive in a mission mode.
Accidental electrocution remains a major threat too. Despite repeated calls for identification of sagging lines in elephant routes, improvement is nowhere to be seen. Eight electrocution deaths in last three months and cases registered against the discom field officials stand witness to the worrying trend. In western Odisha districts alone, five jumbos have been killed by electrocution.
Meanwhile, Divisional Forest Officer, Sonepur Debarchan Behera said Forest Department has registered a case. While one person has been detained, sleuths are looking for four others.
Executive Engineer of WESCO, Sonepur Srinivas Swain said the discom has also instituted a probe and action would be initiated against those found guilty.