Assam: Three wild elephants die of electrocution in Kamrup


Three wild elephants looking for food at a betel nut farm were killed in Assam’s Kamrup district around 2am on Friday, an official said and added it seems to be a case of electrocution.

The incident took place in the Panichanda area under the Rani forest range office.

Rohini Saikia, Divisional Forest Officer of the Kamrup East division confirmed the incident.

According to the reports, a herd of wild elephants came to the area from a nearby jungle in search of food and three elephants came into contact with an electric wire.

Following the incident, forest officials rushed to the spot.

Around 250 elephants have died over the last 10 years in Assam. The northeastern state had the second-highest population of wild elephants (5,719) in India after Karnataka as per a 2017 census.

Electrocution, poisoning, and train accidents have been among the causes of elephant deaths in Assam. Farmers often use electric fences to protect their crops from elephants.

“A herd of wild elephants [an adult female, a male, and a female calf] was out in search of food…They were inside a betel nut cultivation when the incident took place,” said Kamrup East divisional forest officer Rohini B Saikia. “It seems that the deaths took place after a betel nut tree, which the elephants were trying to pull down, fell on a live electric wire…[and] struck the pachyderms,” said Saikia.

Saikia added that the incident does not appear to be human-induced and looks like an accident. “The live wire was at a considerable height and fell only because the betel nut tree fell on it,” said Saikia.

Forest officials were conducting a post-mortem of the elephants.