A tragic incident occurred when an entire family of elephants were killed after hitting low-hanging electric wires that surrounded a coffee farm in India. The majestic beasts that were electrocuted consisted of two adults and two juveniles.
According to Daily Mail, the family of elephants killed were found on the ground near a coffee farm in the Kodagu district of the southern state of Karnataka. It was determined by inspectors that the elephants died instantly after making contact with the high-powered cables surrounding the farm.
Unfortunately, two other elephants were killed earlier this month under similar circumstances. The animals were likely grazing when they all hit the power lines and died. It’s a problem when power poles aren’t maintained or repaired; they end up leaning and bringing the wires to a lower level where large animals like elephants may brush up against them.
Government rules in the region mandate that electric wires be at least 20-feet above ground to avoid accidents.
A source said that the family of elephants killed in the latest tragedy were two adults and the other two were younger. Wildlife activists and the public are outraged at how common this is becoming. There’s the notion that political representatives don’t talk about the issue. Locals say at least 200 elephants have been electrocuted by power lines in the last two years. Forest department officials are mapping out a plan to address the elephant deaths with the Chamundeshwari Electricity Corporation Ltd (CESC), the operation responsible for the wires.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) June 28, 2017
Another problem has to do with farmers frequently drawing power from the power lines illegally to make electrical fences around their crops. In the case of the family of elephants being killed, it’s not certain that’s what occurred.
Karnataka has a specific problem with electric wires killing elephants. A 2012 study concluded that 78 elephants died of electrocution over five years, which is more than the number of them killed by poachers. In 2011, the National Board for Wildlife wrote up several recommendations for protecting wildlife from power lines. Among some of those suggestions was increasing the “height of poles, burying the wires underground, and insulating them to stop electric shocks.”
Family of 4 Indian elephants electrocuted by fallen power cable https://t.co/lMlLFDjeNO
— IBTimes UK (@IBTimesUK) June 28, 2017
The government has largely been negligent in the recommendations to prevent elephants from being killed, and the state forest department has received criticism for not doing more to make power companies take action on deteriorating power poles.
[Featured Image by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images]