Electrocuted Elephant, Nagarahole

Pavan Joshi

Pavan Joshi

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Several elephants die in India every year by electrocution. While some of these electrocutions are due to illegal electrification of fences from overhead power lines by farmers or plantations adjoining protected areas, some are due to direct contact with overhead power lines that hang lower than the regulation height above the ground.

This magnificent tusker was electrocuted on Nov 12th, 2012, around 1 a.m., in Balle Range in the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. The elephant was frequently seen in the area and was known to have sight in only one eye. As it was attempting to cross a tribal village, it appears to have entangled in a triangular section formed by an electric pole and the guy wires holding it up. The elephant’s attempts to free itself seem to have brought the guy wire into contact with the electrical conductor at top, resulting in the electrocution.

An investigation based on a complaint of the RFO appears to be on, to determine if there was negligence either in the maintenance of the power line or any faulty design that would endanger animals in the reserve.

Editor’s note: Electrocution has grown to become a significant threat to large animals and is not restricted to elephants. Look at the coverage of this threat on Conservation India.

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