Mother elephant uproots transformer that electrocuted her baby in Andhra

The Hindu | K. Umashanker | July 23, 2019

It’s a common observation that elephants are wise and clever animals. The episode of a wild elephant, which reportedly “avenged” its baby’s death by uprooting a transformer pole at an agriculture land near Palamaner on Monday has baffled forest officials and public.

A two-year-old male calf was electrocuted to death when it brushed against an uninsulated cable of a transformer at a field of Gobbilla Kotur village abutting the Koundinya wildlife sanctuary, 60 km from here, in the early hours of Sunday.

The calf was accompanying its mother.

Till dawn, the pachyderm made desperate attempts to lift its baby’s carcass from the ground, but retreated into the thickets with increase in movement of officials, curious farmers and general public at the spot.

On Sunday evening, the calf was given a burial at the forest fringe village, preceded by post-mortem and traditional pujas. While making a retreat from the burial site, the forest officials of Palamaner range decided to stop power supply to the transformer “which killed the calf”, and also a few other transformers in the adjoining fields, expecting that the angry mother would strike back at it with vengeance.

A terrified lot
Around 3 a.m. of Monday, the mother elephant reportedly entered the same field and with all her might pulled down the transformer and snapped the “lifeless” cables.

Forest watchers camping at the site were a terrified lot and watched the jumbo horror hiding behind a tree. The angry elephant also reportedly tried to uproot a couple of transformers in the adjoining fields, but abandoned the move later.

Before retreating into the sanctuary by dawn, the agonised pachyderm, making frenzied trumpeting till the small hours, reached the burial site of her baby.

Standing on the wet mound, it reportedly lifted its trunk and made one last outburst of grief and disappeared into the darkness.

Forest Range Officer (Palamaner) Madan Mohan Reddy confirmed the uprooting of the transformer by the angry mother elephant.

“This episode proves that elephants are not only wise, but they love their family and children and their emotions are immeasurable. Fortunately, we could guess what could happen in the next 24 hours. Luckily, we had stopped power supply at the location, avoiding further tragedy. Power supply would be stopped for another couple of days in the area,” the official said.