Berhampur/Dhenkanal: Two wild elephants reportedly died in separate incidents due to suspected electrocution in Ganjam and Dhenkanal district last night.
The first incident has been reported from Dhaupalli cashew jungle under the Central forest range in North Ghumsur division in Ganjam district.
According to reports, a herd of eight elephants last night crossed a road inside the cashew forest in search of food. One among them came in contact with the high tension 11 kv wire while the animal was trying to break a branch of a cashew tree, locals said.
However, forest officials have not yet confirmed the reason of the animal’s death.
“The elephant herd mostly uses this stretch. An eight-member herd had crossed the road on Sunday. Our patrolling team had also spotted them. Today, we reached the spot following information by locals and found the carcass. We will conduct an autopsy to ascertain the cause of death,” said Sudarsan Badi, Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF), North Ghumsur Division.
It was an adult and aged around 25-30 years, he added.
According to reports, there was no solar fencing in the forest to prevent the animals from accessing the electricity wire even as the same place is marked as elephant movement zone.
In a separate incident, a tusker reportedly died after being trapped in solar fencing wires planted by farmers to save their crops from wild animals. The incident took place at Govindprasad area under Sadar Range in Dhenkanal district last night.
The animal reportedly got trapped while trying to sneak in to a mango orchard which was fenced with solar fencing.
“It seems the jumbo tried to intrude into the orchard as its face is lying inside the orchard with fencing wires behind the neck and mouth. The animal might struggle with the solar current throughout the night which might lead to its death. It is really unfortunate,” said Biswajit Jena, local farmer.
However, the exact reason has not been known yet. Forest department officials have launched an investigation.
The age of the tusker will be around 10-15 years, officials said.
"Prima facie, it seems that elephant died last night. We can say the death is caused by solar fencing wire. But, we will get the post-mortem of the carcass conducted by a team of experts. Then, we will send the findings to the Centre of Wildlife, Bhubaneswar. They will analyse the reports and find out the cause of the death,” said Rasmi Ranjan Swain, Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF), Dhenkanal.
“We have also formed a team to investigate the matter,” he added.
Notably, most of the famers in the locality resort to solar fencing to save their crops from wild animals especially elephants.