Mahout electrocuted in Kendrapara

Kendrapara: In a freak accident, a mahout was electrocuted while his pet elephant sustained injury after coming in contact with a live high-tension overhead wire in Kendrapara district, police said today.

The incident which occurred on Sunday at Deysahi village under Aul police station, about 40 km from here, has brought into sharp focus the unlawful practice of deploying domesticated elephants brought up under captive condition for `unethical` street begging, police said.

The mahout has been identified as Jajantha Nanda from Nazarpur village of Uttar Pradesh. The elephant has however, recovered from shock and is reported to be safe, sources said.

The mishap occured when the mahout perched atop the elephant had resorted to door-to-door street-begging. As ill luck would have it, he came in contact with the high-tension line and died on the spot, police said.

The pet elephant is in the possession of the assistant mahout who was accompanying the animal. The veterinary surgeons examined the pet and found it to be safe and sound. The mahouts are in possession of a valid permit from the UP forest department to make seasonal trip to state. So no case has been registered against them, said forest officials.