Four elephant deaths in less than a month raises concern
- Illegal fences are to be blamed.
- Farmers to protect their land had put up electric fences.
- The forest department now plans to file cases against them.
Karnataka is second the country for its elephant population, but in less than one month it has witnessed four elephant deaths - drawing criticism from wildlife activist as these deaths have been due to electrocution.
The activists now want the government take action against the illegal power connection at farm land.
Within six days after elephant Sidda's death due to its broken leg on December 9, an elephant was electrocuted at Kanakapur in Bengaluru outskirts.
The bull elephant aged about 40 years is said to have ventured into Madegowdanadoddi on December 15 in search of food and moved into farm land owned by Nagesh where it got electrocuted.
"The solar fencing was also connected to a power cable from nearby high tension wire. The jumbo would have touched 440-kilowatt cable connected to solar fencing and died," said Manjunath Deputy Conservator of Forest Ramanagar.
The sources say that the farmland owner has drawn the power illegally and a case is also registered in this case.
Sathnur Range Forest Officer and veterinarian from animal husbandry department are conducting autopsy on the dead elephant and a report is expected to be filed in a day or two.
A few days later, 15-year old tusker was electrocuted in Srigivapura village in the Nelamangala forest range on Sunday. Bengaluru Rural Deputy Conservator of Forests, B Mahesh Kumar, said that the young elephant was found dead in the early hours of Thursday midnight.
In both the cases, the Forest department and the police are filing cases against the farmland owners for using high tension wires, which is against the wildlife rules.
However the wildlife activists say that, with lot of project in Tumakur which is elephant corridor, the elephant that are venturing out from Bannerghatta National Park through Veerasagar forest at Ramanagar are coming in contact with wires before coming to Tumakur.
"The government should encourage elephant corridor and provide safety for wildlife by cracking on people who illegally draw powers from high tension wire which results in elephant death," said Sundar Muthanna, a wildlife activist.
The forest department is also worried as two other elephant has died after getting struck on slush due to low level of water in the ditch. "The elephants are a start attraction of tourism department and repeated deaths could impact Karnataka's image," said an official.