Two elephants died after being electrocuted at Kiranchandra tea garden in Darjeeling district’s Siliguri early Saturday morning. Local people found the elephants lying dead inside the tea garden and informed the matter to the forest department. Forest department personnel reached the spot and recovered the carcasses.
The incident triggered tension in the area, while many of the villagers put flowers on the carcasses.
According to preliminary investigation, forest department personnel suspect that the elephants died after being electrocuted. A senior forest department official said that a herd of elephants was roaming in the area for the last few days. There were around 50 elephants in the herd.
According to the forest department, a younger elephant slipped in marshy land and fell and its mother tried to rescue it. In the process, both hit an electrical pole which fell down snapping the overhead electrical ware. Both elephants died on the spot.
The incident led to suspension of work in the tea garden. The forest department personnel started post-mortem examination of the two tuskers.
Another senior forest official of Bagdogra sub-division confirmed that the elephants were electrocuted after they came in contact with a high tension line in the area. He confirmed that about 30 elephants had entered the tea garden main line in Siliguri. The electrical pole fell after being struck by the elephants and the high tension wire snapped, triggering a power breakdown in the area.
It may be mentioned that elephants often get electrocuted in the state which has been a serious concern for the forest department. There were many instances where elephants died after touching electrical fencings. Farmers often put such fencing to prevent elephants from destroying their fields, which results in their death. The forest department has carried out awareness campaigns to prevent such incidents.