CHITTOOR : Fleeing in the dark, a wild elephant bumped into an electric pole, brought live wires down on itself, and died on the spot while being chased out of a village in Bangarupalem mandal of Chittoor district late on Monday. It was part of a herd of tuskers that strayed into the village from the nearby forest, officials said.
As the elephants from the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary approached the fields near Teku Manda village, the locals feared they would trample their crops. Distressed, they asked forest officials to help chase the herd away, divisional forest officer (Chittoor-West) Sunil Kumar Reddy said.
A team was rushed to the village and began driving the elephants back by making a loud nose with drums and chasing them with tractors. As the elephants fled, one of them ran into an electric pole. The pole got uprooted and the live overhead wires fell on the animal and electrocuted it, officials said.
The deceased elephant must have been about 20 years old, forest officials said after examining the carcass on Tuesday morning. A post-mortem examination was conducted by a team of veterinarians.
Meanwhile, residents of villages near the forest claimed the officials were too slow in responding to their distress calls. Since 2013, about eight elephants have died of electrocution in the region, officials said.