It was an act of vengeance and anger that many would not only be moved by but would wholeheartedly forgive. A grieving elephant who watched her two-year-old calf electrocuted to death near Palamaner in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district, returned a day later to slay the villain who killed her baby – a transformer pole.
The incident took place on Sunday morning on a stretch of the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary when the mother elephant was walking along with her calf when it brushed past the transformer. While the baby elephant died of electrocution, the distressed mother unsuccessfully attempted to pick up the carcass from the ground.
The baby elephant's death which took place on a stretch of the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary on Sunday morning, saw the mother return on Monday and uproot a transformer pole at an agricultural land near Palamaner.
Speaking to reporters, an official from the Forest Department said that the elephant refused to budge from the spot where her child died, until authorities reached and managed to drive it back to the forest.
The calf was then buried on Sunday evening after a post-mortem by officials.
"It came back to the spot in the early hours of Monday and uprooted the transformer. As a precaution, soon after the calf's death came to light, we spoke to APTRANSCO and turned off the transformer and electricity in the neighbouring fields. As there was a precautionary measure, no untoward incident took place," Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sunil Reddy told TNM.
After uprooting a transformer and some cables, the elephant was also seen moving around her calf's burial spot, before returning to the forest.
“This episode proves that elephants are not only wise, but they love their family and children and their emotions are immeasurable...Power supply would be stopped for another couple of days in the area,” Forest Range Officer (Palamaner) Madan Mohan Reddy was quoted as saying.
Concerns have been raised about the lives of the elephants following the three deaths reported this month in the limits of Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary. Elephants pass through seasonally as the sanctuary falls in between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
According to forest officials, there are as many as 35 elephants in Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary limits. Since the latest incident, all measures are being taken to ensure the safety of wildlife, and local electricity officials have been instructed to set up safety nets near transformers.