Siddapur (Kodagu): Four wild elephants, all of them female, were electrocuted after they came in contact with live power cables passing through a private estate at Ammathi Vontiangadi village in Virajpet taluk of Kodagu district yesterday. The elephants included a calf and the incident took place at Kannangala Gram Panchayat near Siddapur.
The incident occurred when the elephants were foraging for fodder at Yadoor and came in contact with low-hanging electric wire. This is the second such incident in the last 14 days. It may be recalled here that two elephants had died under similar circumstances at Vontiangadi in Kannangala Gram Panchayat on June 14. Yesterday’s incident has taken the death toll of elephants owing to accidental electrocution to six in one month.
The four elephants aged 1 3, 32 and 38 years were found dead in the Parekaadu Coffee Estate owned by Boppanda Ganapathi and his brother Belliappa. The electric line had passed through the estate to connect the house of one N. Muthappa. The wild elephants have been camping in Kannangala Gram Panchayat limits for the last few days.
While what led to the elephants’ electrocution is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that heavy rain and gusty winds lashing the district for the last two days resulted in the electricity cables hanging low.
Residents said wild elephants have been moving frequently in Siddapur and Kannangala Gram Panchayats. Despite Forest Department initiating measures to chase them back to the forests, the menace continues.
Conservator of Forests Manoj Kumar said that as per initial reports, the elephants came in contact with the low-hanging wires while foraging for fodder. The elephants were said to be in the estate for the last four to five days, he said.
Following the death of elephants, Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company Ltd. (CESC) has taken up the work on raising the height of electric cables on the routes where elephants pass through.
CESC Officer P.S. Suresh, who visited the spot, said that the elephants had come into contact with 230 volts power line.Even if an elephant comes in contact with a 50 volt wire, it can be fatal, he added.