Two elephants electrocuted

Kolkata: The World Elephant Day began on a sad note on Wednesday with reports of two deaths of the pachyderms allegedly due to accidental

electrocution at Hamiltonganj Range under Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) in Alipurduar.

The carcass of one sub adult and one calf (both male) were recovered from Bhutri Beat under BTR.

"Our preliminary investigation has revealed that the two elephants died when they came in contact with a 11000 volt line passing through the forest. The pole and surrounding area became electrically charged due to short circuit," said a senior official of the state Forest department.

Interestingly, the duo did not come in contact with wires.

"It has been reported from the field that the pylon and the ground electrified due to leakage," he added.

The department has lodged an FIR at the local police station in connection with the case.

State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said that the department's initial probe has not

found any sign of electrocution.

"There has been no snapping or tripping of any power supply line in the area where the death occurred. Usually after electrocution the supply line trips. We are not ruling out other cause of death," he maintained.

He added that he will speak with the Chairman of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company LTD on Thursday for more details about the matter.

The state Forest department is concerned over the deaths of elephants through electrocution particularly in the forests of North Bengal since the month of June.

In July there were two deaths of pachyderms within 24 hours due to deliberate electrocution.

The first death was reported from Ramjhora tea estate under Birpara police station area while the second from Khunia forest range under Nagrakata police station in Jalpaiguri.

In June 16 and June 24 two tuskers had died of accidental electrocution at BTR and Madarihat near Jaldapara National Park.

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