Two wild elephants electrocuted in Orissa

May 1st, 2008 - 7:17 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, May 1 (IANS) Two elephants were electrocuted early Thursday when they came in contact with a high-tension overhead wire near the Badrama wildlife sanctuary in Orissa’s Sambalpur district, a forest official said. A 40-year-old elephant and her 10-year-old calf died after they touched a high-tension overhead wire near the sanctuary, some 320 km from here.

Later, hundreds of villagers blocked the Kolkata-Raipur national highway near the sanctuary to demand action against electricity department officials who, they claimed, had failed to check the low-hanging high-voltage power line that caused the deaths.

“As per rules, the power lines in these areas should be 4.6 metres above the ground. However, in this case, they were just two metres above,” Badrama forest officer Saroj Kumar Panda told IANS.

“At least five elephants had come out of the sanctuary at 10 p.m. Wednesday. The elephants were returning to the sanctuary after drinking water from a pond,” Panda said.

“Three elephants returned safely but two got electrocuted,” he added.

“There are clear guidelines by the central electricity authority which should be strictly enforced to prevent electrocution of elephants,” Biswajit Mohanty of the NGO Wildlife Society of Orissa told IANS.

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