Poacher traps cost 60 people their lives in 9 years

A woman died upon accidentally coming in contact with an electric fence put up around an agricultural field in Wankidi

ADILABAD: While the threat of poachers to animals has been well documented, it has been found that people are also falling victim to the traps, with as many as 60 persons being electrocuted to death upon coming in contact with live electric wires set up by poachers over the past nine years in Adilabad.

Sources said that four such incidents took place till November 2022, and that most of these incidents take place in interior villages located on the periphery of forests.

Even farmers of the interior villages set up live wires to safeguard their crops from animals, especially wild boars, they said. Three tigers were electrocuted due to such set-ups in Indravelli, Bejjur and Vemanapalli mandals. In 2016, a tiger and a man were electrocuted to death upon coming in contact with live wires that were set up to thwart wild boars in Maddiguda of Bejjur mandal. In the same year, another tiger died in the Pinnaram forest of Kotapalli under similar circumstances.

Venkat Anagandula, the coordination officer of the erstwhile Adilabad district of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), said they have been tracking the incident of people and animals dying of electrocution by accidentally coming into contact with the live electric wire.

He said that while 60 incidents were recorded, many more such incidents were buried by local political or community leaders to avoid punishment.

Forest officials said that electrocutions have increased as poachers are looking for alternative ways to kill animals without shooting them with guns. Venkat said that 30 per cent of the deaths were caused by electric fences set up by farmers, while 70 per cent were poachers’ fault.

Adivasi leaders also said it was dangerous for outsiders to venture into their villages as they may end up getting electrocuted as they would be unaware of the locations of electric fences.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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