Bhubaneswar, November 20 (LocalWire): Reaffirming the fear that electrocution was a major cause of elephant deaths in Odisha, Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha on Tuesday informed that 119 elephants have died due to electrocution since 2009 in the state.
Replying to a query by BJD lawmaker Badri Narayan Patra in Odisha assembly on Tuesday, the minister also said that 133 people, besides 11 forest officials and four employees of the power distribution companies were taken to task for incidents.
The electrocution deaths occurred mostly due to sagging power lines and live wire trap laid by poachers.
The state has lost 119 elephants due to electrocution from 1 January 2009 till 31 October 2019, averaging nearly 12 elephants in a year.
“There is the need to set up reinforced electric poles fitted with spikes to prevent elephants from rubbing against them and lifting of sagging overhead power lines. The overhead wires across all elephant habitats and movement zones should be insulated,” wildlife activist Biswajit Mohanty said.
These long-ranging elephants perish mostly due to poaching, electrocution, collision with trains and road mishap, besides falling into open wells.
“Poaching and electrocution are the two major causes of elephant deaths in the state,” he said.