ANGUL/BHUBANESWAR: Forest officials on Thursday arrested two persons for allegedly killing the two elephants in Satkosia Tiger Reserve by electrocuting them deliberately.
The accused were identified as Anil Bhoi (27) and Budhia Bhoi (44) of Tarabha, a forest village in Satkosia. Officials of Satkosia Wildlife Division said the duo have been involved in many wildlife crimes earlier. “Apart from these two accused, involvement of four more persons in the crime has come to light and efforts are on to apprehend them,” they added.
Considering the seriousness of the case, Energy Department officials filed an FIR against the accused in connection with hooking from the transmission line. Though the postmortem report is yet to be received by the forest officials, Satkosia division confirmed that the death of the jumbos occurred due to electrocution by an 11kv transmission line near Jagannathpur.
Speaking on the matter, the DFO said that they seized electric wires from the site of hooking. “It appears that the poachers had tampered with the insulated cable to lay live wire trap for bushmeat hunting. The division is in talks with the Energy officials on finding ways to prevent such incidents in the future,” he added.He further informed that out of the 120 km electric transmission lines passing through the sanctuary area, only 20 to 25-kilometre-long lines are insulated.
“While steps are being taken to ensure early insulation of all transmission cables, there is constant patrolling by elephant squads to check hooking. Both patrolling and awareness drive will be intensified to prevent people in the forest and forest fringe villages from indulging in wildlife crimes,” the DFO stated. Forest officials said at present, the tiger reserve is witnessing movement of around 45 elephants in different herds.