elephants

Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

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A 10-year-old elephant was found dead in a farmland in Kadambur Hills on Saturday. Two days before, a 20-year-old elephant was found dead in a similar manner in Talavadi. Both were electrocuted by high voltage currents flowing through electric fences.

Farmers erect these deadly fences to protect the crops growing in their field. Spot inspections and cases are filed against the suspected by officials of the Forest Department.

The incident is no high profile crime. A couple of headlines might have been printed in corners of some handful of newspapers. The electrocution of endangered elephants has become such a regular event that neither the general public nor government officials pay much heed to it.

Try googling “elephants killed by electric fences”, the number of reports of killing of animals in a similar fashion is baffling and does not come to an end even after several pages.

And India is not the only country witnessing such cruelty, incidents of electrocution have also been reported from Bangkok, Tanzania, Sri Lanka.

Few incidents in recent years in India:

  • June 2016, a 50-year-old wild elephant in West Bengal, India died after being electrocuted by illegal electric fencing.
  • June 2017, four elephants killed by electric shock in Virajpur Taluk.
  • October 2014, two elephants died due to electric shock because they were touching each other in West Bengal.
  • May 2017, a video of a carcass of an electrocuted elephant being dragged upside down along a dirt road went viral.
    elephants
    Pic Courtesy: Twitter@dipika_bajpai

Transformers to maintain a low voltage electric current to ward off wild animals by giving mild shocks is allowed. But farmers generally connect the massive 220 volts to their fences.

The practice still continues because there are no stringent laws against killing an elephant. According to Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, seven years of the prison sentence is awarded for killing an elephant but the reality speaks otherwise. Rarely anyone gets convicted of killing a tusker.

What locals don’t realize that it is us humans who have taken away their home. With rapid deforestation, elephants have less and less area to live and migrate. It’s clear that not many people believe in peaceful coexistence. The conflict between man and wild animals continues and the wild side is losing it this time.

We are heading towards a world where no other species would be in existence except humans. That’s just a lonely planet.

Source: EENADU India, dailymail.co.uk, business standard

Photo Credit: Casey Allen via Unsplash

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