In a fresh incident of electrocution, one more wild elephant was killed in the fields near Tekumanda village of Bangarupalem mandal, 30 km from here, in the early hours of Tuesday, bringing the toll of the pachyderms to an agonising figure of seven, six of them due to electrocution, in a span of 10 months, all happening in a radius of about 15 km of the sanctuary zone.
According to information, a big herd from the wildlife sanctuary made its way into the agriculture fields close to Tekumanda village on Monday night. The farmers and local youth were worried seeing the pachyderms trampling the crops.
A team of elephant trackers rushed to the spot, and was on the job of driving them back into the forests, producing heavy noise with drums and weird shrieks. In the melee, one of the elephants crashed against an electric pole in the darkness. The pole got uprooted and the live overhead power line fell on the fleeing jumbo, killing it instantaneously. At dawn, a huge crowd of local people stormed the spot to have a look at the carcass of the giant male jumbo.
Senior forest officials inspected the spot, while a team of veterinary doctors were deployed to perform post-mortem of the electrocuted pachyderm.
It is the first jumbo casualty in the Koundinya wildlife zone in 2020, while the number of elephant casualties remained at six in 2019. A vast stretch of forest fringe areas is left without any fence or trenches, making human habitations and fields vulnerable to raiding elephants, and moreover exposing the pachyderms to a high risk of getting electrocuted.
Several farmers allege that the forest personnel were not swift in responding to their appeals for providing protection to their crops. In spite of the electrocution of seven jumbos, no tangible alternative measures were implemented concerning overhanging power lines and presence of unsafe transformers in the fields, abutting the elephant sanctuary, they said.