Power lines hung across migratory routes are deadly for wild elephants.

Preventing Elephant Electrocution

Scores of endangered Asian elephants are electrocuted and killed by low hanging power lines each year. Poorly maintained and badly installed electrical wires have become elephant death traps. 

It is estimated that up to 170 Asian elephants have been electrocuted to death in the state of Odisha in India in the last 10 years. These deaths could easily be prevented if power companies comply with regulations to maintain their cabling, address low hanging wires and invest in stronger poles, especially along elephant routes. 

Our actions

We have actively lobbied power distribution companies to install lines properly so these needless deaths are avoided. Persistent pressure on the Odisha Government and several interactions with Reliance Discoms (a major power distribution company) resulted in a decision by the State’s Energy Department to commit Rs. 110 crores (US$ 16.8 million) to strengthen and correct electricity distribution lines. Correction of sagging lines in the first phase has been completed and a further US$ 5.48 million has been committed so far for long-term solutions.

We still need to be vigilant

A different threat is now emerging as local farmers illegally hook up power lines to electric fences and ground traps to keep out crop-raiding wildlife. Our Informer Network is supporting the Forest Department to raise awareness about the illegal practice.
With local partners, we are also working with farmers to encourage humane methods of keeping elephants away.

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Help Elephant Family to protect endangered Asian elephants from electrocution