After its lactating mother died due to electrocution in Golaghat district on Sunday, a 75-day-old elephant calf was rescued on Thursday by forest department personnel with the help of the residents of Miripathar village in Golaghat district.

Eastern Assam's Golaghat Divisional Forest Officer S.K. Thakuria said that the baby elephant wandered around in Miripathar village under Bokial forest beat after its mother was electrocuted in an incident that took place at Dholagaon Pathar on Sunday.

"The two and a half months old calf was rescued by the forest personnel. As it was weak, it was shifted to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation at Panbari for treatment and rehabilitation," Thakuria said.

Photo credit should read THIERRY ROGE/AFP/Getty Images

An official of the Assam Forest and Environment Department said that the calf's 18-year-old mother died due to electrocution at Dholagaon Pathar in the wee hours of Sunday. Signs of burning on the body of the wild tusker were prominent. "An electric post of 11 KV line was found tilted near the carcass. Perhaps it got tilted due to the brushing of the body against the post. Electric lines were hanging from 6 feet height," the official said.

Elephant electrocuted

A postmortem was carried out to ascertain the exact cause of the jumbo's death.

An Assam wildlife official in Guwahati said that the forest officials in association with the villagers rescued several elephants stuck in a wetland near Dehing Patkai National Park in Digboi Forest Division in eastern Assam's Tinsukia district last week. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appreciating the efforts had said: "I also thank the local people for their support in this operation, signifying our tradition of man-animal coexistence."

Elephant calf rescued 4 days after mother electrocuted in Assam
Elephant calf rescued 4 days after mother electrocuted in AssamIANS

On October 15, a six-year-old elephant was found dead in a paddy field at Shantipara under Kanyakuchi Reserve Forest in western Assam's Goalpara district. At least 13 elephants have been killed this year in various parts of Assam by illegal electric fences put up by farmers to protect their crops.

According to official records, over 90 elephants were electrocuted in Assam between 2011 and 2019. Electrocution, poisoning and natural calamities also led to elephant deaths, including a whopping 18 jumbos being killed by lightning strikes in Nagaon district in May.

With the second largest elephant population after Karnataka (6049), Assam is home to Asian elephants with a population of 5,719, according to the last census conducted in 2017.

Due to deforestation and destruction of elephant habitats and crisis of fodder, man-elephant conflicts are rising in Assam. According to the wildlife officials, 890 humans have died in man-elephant conflicts during the last 10 years in Assam, with Sonitpur district recording the highest deaths at 124, followed by Udalguri district with 118 and Goalpara district with 78 deaths. This year, over 100 people including women, have died so far due to elephant attacks in various parts of Assam.

(With inputs from IANS)