Elephant dies due to electrocution in the Nilgiris (India)
September 22, 2022
In the last few years, six elephants have died so far after accidentally
coming into contact with power lines in Gudalur and Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
A 15-year-old elephant died after being electrocuted when it came into
contact with a power-line in Bitherkad forest range in Gudalur on Thursday
Field Director of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) and Conservator of forests
(Nilgiris), D. Venkatesh, stated that the death was due to accidental
He said an electric power line runs along the road from Bitherkad to
Patavayal, and on the left side of that road was a coffee estate. Areca nut
trees are grown between the coffee plants in the estate, which had
attracted the elephant to the area.
“Last night, a 15-year-old male elephant has pushed a palm tree into
electric power line. The tree had fallen over the line but the line
remained uncut. Furthermore, the elephant has pushed another areca palm
tree near the power line supplying electricity to the estate. The tree has
fallen on the line, which lowered it closer to the ground.
Later, when the elephant was moving from the plantation, the trunk touched
the lowered power line and the elephant was electrocuted, leading to its
death,” said Mr. Venkatesh. He added that a postmortem would be conducted
on the carcass.
In the last few years, five elephants have died after accidentally coming
into contact with power lines in Gudalur and Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).
This is the sixth such death resulting from power infrastructure in the
Forest department officials stated that this incident was different from
the rest as the power lines had been well above the stipulated height, and
that the elephant had only been able to reach it due to the tree having
pushed the wire closer to the ground.