It only took four elephant deaths in a 12 day period to finally spur India into cracking down on farmers who install illegal electric fences in an effort to protect crops and land from Elephants.
B.R. Mamatha, Deputy Commissioner of Ramanagaram, said stringent and effective measures were needed to protect these innocent elephants.
The deaths were attributed to the poor monitoring of elephant movements and a lack of stiff penalties as a deterrent to curb the illegal fencing.
Two Elephants were electrocuted on December 18 and another near Madegowdana Doddi on December 16. Another giant died near the Manchanabele dam on December 9. All four deaths came when these pachyderms came into contact with illegally set up electrical fencing.
India's forest department has done an extremely poor job of mapping out elephant corridors that these gentle giants use while searching for food and water when both become scarce during the winter season.
Farmers illegally erect wire-fence and draw power from nearby electric poles to scare the wild animals and protect their crops.
The major problem is the electric is drawn directly from the source so it is not stepped down in power or have any safety features like circuit breakers that most households contain.
When electricity enters your home, it goes to a circuit breaker box (or fuse box in older homes), where it's divided into a number of circuits. Each circuit is protected by a breaker or fuse.
These circuit breakers are absolutely essential in the modern world, and one of the most important safety mechanisms in your home. Whenever electrical wiring in a building has too much current flowing through it, these simple machines cut the power until somebody can fix the problem.
Without circuit breakers (or the alternative, fuses), household electricity would be impractical because of the potential for fires or the potential to kill humans and/or animals resulting from simple wiring problems or equipment failures.
These illegally set up electrical fences have no safety features so when an Elephant comes into contact with a live wire it is helpless and in most cases leads to its demise.
India's Forest Department will intensify patrolling with newly created teams of inspectors to monitor elephant movements and to warn farmers against erecting illegal electric fences and curb poaching activities, a senior forest officer said.