Assam: Three elephants including one died in last two days in Kaziranga

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The dilapidated power lines have claimed the lives of three elephants in Assam since Sunday. While an 18-year-old female elephant died of electrocution at Dholagaon Pathar in Golaghat district on Sunday, two more deaths – a 45-year-old male at Gorchuk near Guwahati and an 18-year-old male in Kaziranga – were reported. National Park (KNP) Burhapahar Range- was reported after coming in contact with Pachyderms transmission lines on Monday.

Apart from the forest department’s elephant, a swamp deer and two wild boars were also killed in KNP.

According to KNP officials, the chain of the elephant got stuck in an electric pole located inside the national park. Officials said the pole fell and the elephant came in contact with a power line, causing its “accidental” death.

According to KNP director, P Shivakumar, the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) pole was placed in the area “a long time ago”, and there were plans to relocate it. “Considering the fact that it is an area near an elephant camp – frequented by the department and even wild elephants – the process of shifting the voting by ASEB and the civil administration started in 2017 itself. It was approved but was put on hold due to some issues, he said, adding that the death was “accidental and unfortunate”. “There are other elephants roaming around in the area… nothing happened in all these years.” “

While in Gorchuk the elephant suffered an electric shock near the boundary of the Garbhabhanga Reserve Forest, the second time in Dholagaon, Golaghat, the animal died in a field.

A release from the forest department said that the carcass of the latter had prominent symptoms of burns due to current. “An electric post of 11KV line was found tilted near the body. Probably got bent because of body brushing in post. Power lines were hanging from a height of six feet.

As per the data shared by the forest department, 113 elephants have died due to electric shock in Assam between 2009 and September 25, 2020. Officials said most of the deaths can be attributed to electric shock from power lines or illegal electric fences put up for security by villagers. From pachyderms wandering their crops and homes.

Dr Bhaskar Choudhary, wildlife veterinarian, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), said ASEB should be held accountable for such deaths related to dilapidated power lines. “They may not be wildlife bodies, but they are duty bound to protect wildlife. How did a live electrical wire work inside a national park? If the power line is going bad, they should look into it and get it fixed. These deaths happen year after year, without any accountability or effort to fix the problem,” he said.

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