The tusk, around 22 years old, was electrocuted trying to venture into a rice field leased from another farmer by a Durai alias Aruchamy in Semmedu near Pooluvapatti.
The villagers heard a loud trumpet and then found a dead elephant. They informed the forestry office, which then hurried to the spot.
Investigations revealed that the animal had died from an illegally driven fence in the rice field, which is about 2 km from the forest reserve. Officials said the two elephants came together to raid crops, but one of them escaped unharmed because he did not walk into the illegal electric fence.
It also turned out that the farmer had stolen electricity with a wire to power the steel fence. The farmer who was in the rice field when the incident happened after midnight escaped after removing the wire that powered the fence. Under the Wildlife Protection Act, a case has been recorded against the farmer and it is likely that an autopsy will be performed on the animal’s carcass.
Meanwhile, the elephant’s unnatural death comes as a shock to wildlife activists who are calling for severe punishment in non-criminal areas against those involved in such wildlife crimes.