An elephant died after being electrocuted at Barjora in Bankura on Sunday morning.
It may be mentioned that five elephants died after being electrocuted in Bankura in the last 10 days.
According to officials in the state forest department, around 60 elephants entered villages in Bishnupur, Joypur, Sonamukhi and Barjora in Bankura. They believed that there was scarcity of food in nearby forests and so the tuskers entered the villages in search of food.
During this is time, farmers mainly cultivate vegetables like potato and pumpkin. Thus, in a bid to save their crops, the villagers adopt different methods to keep the elephants away from their farm land.
Usually villagers form a group and create different kind of sound to drive away the elephants, an official said adding: “Recently a section of farmers adopted means to save their crops. They are setting up electrified fence all around their fields.”
A farmer said almost every day in the past few weeks, elephants had entered the villages and damaged crops and vegetables worth a few lakh.
The farmers planned to set up electrified fence after their attempts to save crops failed every time.
“One of the villagers was injured when he had attempted to drive away an elephant,” he said.
The forest department is also trying their best to bring the situation under control. The department officials had even visited the places where the elephants were on rampage and took certain steps to make the villagers feel safe.
Another farmer Ranjit Ghorui said, “Electricity does not always pass through electrified fences. The farmers who set up the fences do not have an intention to kill an elephant. So they opted the system which allows electricity to pass through fences only when the situation goes out of control. Moreover, current of minimum amperes passes through the electrified fences. So one will just get a shock after coming in contact with the fence. It seems that the elephant was unwell and died after it failed to bear the shock.”
The method of driving away animals by setting up of electrified wires was rampant in some places of North Bengal and it too had led to death of many elephants. Strict steps were taken against setting up of such fences. But now the method has been taken up by farmers in south Bengal too and the forest department is taking necessary steps to check the death of elephants due to electrified fences.
It may be mentioned that one elephant died at Anandabati village in Sonamukhi on January 21, another died at Nabasana village in Beliatore and two were killed in Narayansundari village in Sonamukhi.