Jharsuguda: Two elephants including a baby elephant died in the separate incident at Telidihi village under Bagedihi forest range under Jharsuguda district late night.

As reported, one female elephant aged around 15 years died when she accidentally came in contact with 33KV electric line present while crossing the area at night subsequently a baby elephant around six months old, fell into a trench and died just a few meters away from the female elephant.

The dead body of animals was spotted by local residents, who informed forest officials on Monday morning. Villagers paid last respects to the wild animals by offering flowers.

A team of forest officials led by Jharsuguda DFO and veterinary officials rushed to spot.

“Forest officials and police officials had rushed to the spot. The exact reason for its death will be ascertained only after the report of postmortem. We are yet to confirm if the baby elephant is related to the female elephant. In recent times, the area has witnessed an increase of elephant movement. Earlier, after the death of an elephant calf on Sept 29th. We have also asked railway authorities to issue an advisory for speed restriction for all trains plying through this area due to the presence of railway track. Now, we will ask them to further decrease the speed to below 30 Kmph.

We have even asked the railway authorities to immediately close the trench which has been lying open since a year and they have agreed that they will initiate the process of closure of entire trench present in these areas.” said Sushant Kumar, Jharsuguda Divisional Forest Officer

This is the second casualty at the same spot. Earlier on 29th September, a five-month-old elephant calf had died after falling into the trench which was dug up for the laying of cables, present near the railway line.

“This is a huge problem, we cannot restrict or disrupt elephants free movement but to solve this problem authorities should construct an underpass at the railway lines present near forest area so that the animal can move easily and safely. Even the electrical department should increase the height of the electric poles in these areas so that the animals don’t come in contact with this live wires,” said Ashish Shukla, wildlife enthusiast.