Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Elephants Herd Electrocuted In India

Assam has India's largest population of Asian elephants (pictured), estimated at around 5,300, according to a 2002 wildlife census.
by Staff Writers
Guwahati (AFP) India, Nov 13, 2006
Three wild elephants were electrocuted after apparently wandering into a high-tension electricity line in India's northeastern state of Assam, a wildlife official said Monday. The three were part of a herd of about 35 elephants that had strayed into the Behali tea plantation, about 230 kilometres (142 miles) north of Guwahati, Assam's main city.

"The high tension wire first electrocuted an adult female elephant and then two of her calves as they tried to rescue her. In the process all the three died," Chandan Bora, Divisional Forest Officer, told AFP by telephone.

"It was a touching sight when the rest of the herd surrounded the dead elephants, trumpeting at times and licking them frequently."

The herd retreated from the accident site only after sunset on Sunday.

Bora said his department was still investigating whether the animals were killed accidentally or whether they had met with foul play.

Wildlife experts say increasing encroachment by people into elephant habitat has reached alarming proportions and that this was causing the animals to stray into human settlements in search of food.

Elephants have killed 239 people in Assam in the past five years while 265 elephants have died during the same period, many of them victims of retaliation by people, according to a wildlife department report issued last month.

Assam has India's largest population of Asian elephants, estimated at around 5,300, according to a 2002 wildlife census.

earlier related report
At least 1,000 orangutans killed in Indonesian fires
Jakarta (AFP) Nov 13 - At least 1,000 orangutans are estimated to have been killed by fires and land clearing in Indonesia this year, a wildlife expert said here Monday. Willie Smits from the Gibbon Foundation said the fires that swept Borneo during the dry season and the intensive drive to create palm oil plantations have either killed the orangutans or driven them closer to human settlement, where they are killed as pests.

"A thousand is a minimum estimate," said Smits, a founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) project that operates on the Indonesian part of the island.

Trafficking of Orangutans also presents a continuing threat, with animals from Borneo being smuggled to various parts of the globe, Smits said.

Orangutans are a protected species, the only great apes living outside of Africa, and can only be found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.

In 2002 a study estimated that just 56,000 orangutans lived on Borneo and 7,000 in Sumatra.

Only one in three orangutan young are estimated to live, lessening the long-term chance of survival for the species.

"If they are to survive, we have to deal with this forest fires and palm oil plantations," Smits said.

The BOS says it rescued 137 injured orangutans in Central Kalimantan region alone during the fire season, and found the remains of scores of others.

"It is only a small fraction. We are not looking at all other areas where BOS is not operating," said Smits.

Large parts of Sumatra and Borneo have been set ablaze in recent months, an ecological disaster caused by illegal land-clearing fires ahead of the upcoming planting season. Weak enforcement of the law has allowed the practice to continue.

Smouldering underground fires in peatbogs and in subterranean coal veins are particulary hard to extinguish and can burn undetected for months.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

Scientists Find New Way To Search For Origin Of Life
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 13, 2006
Over the last half century, researchers have found that mineral surfaces may have played critical roles organizing, or activating, molecules that would become essential ingredients to all life--such as amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and nucleic acids (the essence of DNA). But which of the countless possible combinations of biomolecules and mineral surfaces were key to this evolution?







  • Joining Forces To Predict Tsunamis
  • Indian Disaster Warning System To Be Ready By 2007 Says Space Agency
  • Japan Probes Damage From Killer Twister
  • Developing Models To Predict Organizational Response To Extreme Events

  • Opposition To Usurp Canadian Position At Kyoto Talks
  • EU Risks Undermining Emissions Trading System
  • Australia, Saudi Take Early Lead For Gaffes At UN Climate Parley
  • Impoverished Africa Shudders Under Global Warming Threat

  • Next Generation Imaging Detectors Could Enhance Space Missions
  • SSTL Signs Contract With Federal Republic Of Nigeria For Supply Of EO Satellite
  • NASA Snow Data Helps Maintain Largest And Oldest Bison Herd
  • Australia And China To Put Eyes In The Sky To Monitor Climate Change

  • Dubai Man-Made Island Poised To Greet First Residents
  • First Fusion Reactor Could Be Online By 2016
  • Despite Start Up Problems Carbon Markets Are Here To Stay
  • Examining The Impact Of Renewable Energy On The Electric Power Grid

  • 26,000 Russians Contracted HIV Since Start Of Year
  • Next Flu Pandemic: What To Do Until The Vaccine Arrives
  • Industrial Chemicals Are Impairing The Brain Development Of Children Worldwide
  • Indonesia Given A Hand In Bird Flu Fight

  • Elephants Herd Electrocuted In India
  • Tracing A Metal Link
  • Scientists Find New Way To Search For Origin Of Life
  • Fossils From Ancient Sea Monster Found In Montana

  • Silicon Valley Trying To Lead By Green Example
  • Zanzibar Plastic Bag Ban Takes Effect As Environment Woes Mount
  • OECD Says China Must Step Up Environmental Efforts
  • Dilovasi, Symbol Of Savage Industrialization And An Embarrassement For Turkey

  • Buffet for Early Human Relatives Two Million Years Ago
  • Unraveling Where Chimp And Human Brains Diverge
  • Researchers Discover How Brain Protein Might Control Memory
  • SimCity For Real

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement