Chennai, Mar 7 (BPNS)
Three female elephants were electrocuted in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu during the early hours of Tuesday. The elephants, according to forest department officials of Tamil Nadu were electrocuted after coming in contact with an illegal electric wire in a farmland at Marandahalli in Dharmapuri district.
The forest officials came to know of the incident after the villagers of Paraikottai informed of the incident. Two calves who were with the adult elephants escaped unhurt.
Forest department officials told BPNS that a farmer, Muruguan had installed an illegal electric fence to prevent wild boar attacks and the elephants had come in contact with the electric fence while trying to cross the farm. The owner of the farm, Murugan is arrested by the police.
Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) officials were immediately alerted who disconnected the electric connection. This action, according to forest officials, saved two calves from getting electrocuted.
The three female elephants ,according to forest officials were aged a round 30 years. Forest officials told BPNS that the department is trying to reunite the calves which are around 9 months with other elephant herds as they will not be able to survive on their own.
KVA Naidu, District Forest Officer told media persons that the forest squad had found three elephants lying on the ground and that they alerted the TANGEDCO authorities who disconnected the electric connection thus preventing the two calves getting electric shock.
Local people told BPNS that the electricity authorities were not conducting routine inspection as the farmers were restoring to illegal tapping of power lines after 10 pm and during morning hours they do not connect with the live line.
The DFO while speaking to media persons said, “ Regular drives ad punishment by disconnecting their power connections would have been a deterrent. However as there were no such drives, the farmers were emboldened and the tragedy occurred.”
Animal rights activists also said that the tragic death of three elephants was due to the miserable failure of the state electricity department to prevent farmers from installing illegal electric fences in the elephant path.
R. Madhushankar, an animal rights activist while speaking to BPNS said, “ The wild elephants were killed, maybe inadvertently, but the farmer and the electricity department of Tamil Nadu must be meted out with stringent punishments. The Tamil Nadu forest department should also have conducted regular checks to prevent such drastic incidents from taking place.”