The wild jumbo, aged around 30 was found dead on a plantain farm owned by Murugesan, 40, of Puthukkadu village near Pethikuttai Reserve Forest in Sirumugai Forest Range.
An investigation by the Forest Department revealed that the animal had died after coming into contact with an illegal electric fence put up around the farm. The farmer had powered the fence by connecting it with an overhead power line to protect his crops from wild boars.
The Forest Department faced resistance from villagers, when they attempted to take Murugesan to the forest range office for inquiry. The villagers blocked their vehicle and forced his release leading to tension. Then, the officials of the Forest Department informed the Sirumugai police, who held talks with the villagers and convinced them to hand him over for questioning. A post mortem was carried out on the animal and further inquiries are on.
With this, as many as 21 elephants have died so far in the Coimbatore Forest Division this year. This incident comes a day after a 60-year-old farmer was arrested in Krishnagiri on Monday after a tusker met with its tragic end by coming into contact with an illegal electric fence put up around his farm land.
In another incident, a six-month-old elephant was found dead in a completely decomposed state at a private tea estate in ‘O’ Valley range in The Nilgiris on Tuesday evening. On receiving information, the Forest Department rushed to the spot and held an inquiry.
Officials said that a post mortem was carried out on Wednesday and the exact reason for its death will be known only after receiving the lab results.