Two jumbos die of electrocution in live wire set by ‘poachers’
The killing of the two pachyderms, meanwhile, has sparked concern among locals as well as conservationists on the protection of wildlife in the tiger reserve.
BHUBANESWAR/ANGUL: In the latest incident of elephant deaths in the state, two sub-adults, including a 15-year-old tusker, were found dead in Satkosia Tiger Reserve on Tuesday.
The forest staff detected the carcasses of the two elephants in Tarabha forest under the Pampasar range of the reserve. They are stated to have died of electrocution from live wire laid by poachers to hunt bushmeat.
Angul RCCF and Satkosia field director Sudhansu Sekhar Khora, DFO Saroj Panda along with joint task force (JTF) members and veterinary teams rushed to the spot for investigation. Electrocution is believed to be the cause of the death of the pachyderms, though the exact cause of death will be ascertained after the postmortem report is received, they said.
Though the carcasses were found on Tuesday, they are believed to have died four to five days back after coming in contact with the live wire trap laid by the poachers near a high-tension overhead wire, an official said.
“The elephants were found lying near the power line and all signs of electrocution were clearly evident. Hooking and burn marks were visible on the trunks. The trap had been laid for the wild boars by cutting the insulated cables. Whoever did the hooking did it professionally and appears to have the technical expertise,” he said.
Though no arrest had been till Tuesday evening, sources said, the main culprit had been identified and a search has been launched to nab him. The killing of the two pachyderms, meanwhile, has sparked concern among locals as well as conservationists on the protection of wildlife in the tiger reserve. Experts said the wildlife in the reserve will continue to be under severe threat until manpower is strengthened. Till last year, the reserve had just 20 forest guards against a sanctioned strength of 59. The protection squad strength was equally poor.
Sources said bushmeat hunting has been taking a heavy toll on the conservation of wild animals including leopards and elephants in the tiger reserve as well as other forests of the state.
Two elephants electrocuted in Satkosia
It has to be contained with a stern hand. Strong measures should also be taken for early shifting of the villages from tiger habitats to reduce anthropogenic pressure and strengthen protection. “There is extremely high anthropogenic pressure in Satkosia.
The number of villages in the tiger reserve is very high. As long as these human habitats remain in the reserve it is impossible to curb poaching,” said the honorary wildlife warden of Angul, Aditya Chandra Panda.
“The wildlife conservation and tiger revival in Satkosia rests entirely on the success of the voluntary relocation programme,” he underlined. PCCF Wildlife SK Popli couldn’t be reached for his comments.