Two more elephants die in Chhattisgarh; toll reaches five in one week

Two more elephants die in Chhattisgarh; toll reaches five in one week

Two wild elephants were found dead in Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh and Dhamtari districts on Tuesday, officials said. A male elephant got electrocuted after coming in contact with a live wire at a farm in Raigarh, while a calf died after getting stuck in a marshland in Dhamtari, they said. With this, five tuskers have so far died in the state in the last one week.

In Raigarh, a tusker got electrocuted early Tuesday morning in Girisha village under the Dharamjaigarh forest division where a herd of 27 elephants was roaming since the last couple of days, Superintendent of Police, Santosh Singh, told PTI.

As per preliminary information, a villager had allegedly laid an illegal electricity connection to operate a borewell at his farm, located around 250 km from Raipur, he said. Prima facie, it seems the elephant came in contact with the live wire at the farm and died of electrocution, he said, adding that the postmortem report is awaited to ascertain the exact cause of death.

The farm owner and another person have been detained for questioning, he said. In another incident, an elephant calf was found dead in a marshland near Urputi (Mongri) village in the submergence area of Gangrel reservoir in Dhamtari, located around 100 km from the state capital, a forest official said.

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The calf was part of the herd that entered the forest along the border of Dhamtari and Kanker districts from the neighbouring Gariaband district on June 7, he said.

“The elephant might have got stuck in the mud while going to drink water,” he said. On being alerted, a team of forest officials reached the spot and pulled the carcass out of the swamp, he said. The exact cause of the animal’s death will be known after the autopsy, he added.

Last week, carcasses of two elephants were recovered from the Pratappur forest range of Surajpur district on June 9 and 10, while another jumbo was found dead in neighbouring Balrampur district on June 11.

Later, three state forest officials and a guard were suspended, while a show-cause notice was issued to a divisional forest officer in Balrampur for alleged dereliction of duty.

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