By Stanley Pinto
MANGALORE: A wild tusker's love for Caryota urens (known as baine in local parlance), cost its life when it got electrocuted at Herakaje, Devachalla Village in the Nalkur Reserve Forest of Subrahmanya Range, about 100 kms from here, on Friday.
Mangalore Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Palaiah who visited the spot said the elephant died due to electrocution and it was an accidental death. There was heavy rain in that area on Thursday and water acted as a conductor when a tree pushed by the elephant touched the overhead electrical line,'' said the DFO.
The tusker had entered the plantation of Chinnappa Gowda at around 11pm on Thursday. Gowda's family, alerted by the constant barking of the dogs, raised a din and shooed away the pachyderm into the nearby forest. On Friday morning, Gowda found the carcass of the elephant.
Gowda said: The elephant had come to the plantation twice at 10pm and 11pm. On Friday I went to check what damage it had done only to find that the elephant dead. Mescom officials said the electrical line was not sagging and was at a specific height. The electrocution happened as the tree which the elephant pushed or touching the lines came in contact with the pachyderm.
Palaiah said the post mortem is being conducted and the tusks will be removed by Saturday. The elephant's carcass would be burnt, according to the rules, he added.
This is not the first time that elephants have visited this area. On February 12, 2013 a wild elephant was responsible for the death of Hosoli Rama Bhat, when the farmer had gone to his plantation at night to change a defective sprinkler. This was about three km from where the pachyderm got electrocuted.