The less-than-a-week-old calf, had been bitten by some carnivore, presumably a wild dog.
Poignant scenes involving a wild elephant and its newborn calf were witnessed at Masinagudy near here on Monday.
The less-than-a-week-old calf, according to the District Forest Officer, the Nilgiris North, B. Sugirtharaj Koilpillai, had been bitten by some carnivore, presumably a wild dog. A deep wound on its hind leg had festered and it was lying on the bank of Masinagudy river. The mother elephant was guarding it and not allowing anyone near them.
To reduce the suffering of the calf, the forest officials accompanied by veterinarian Vijayaraghavan moved as close as possible to the pachyderms with necessary medicines. However the mother showed no signs of moving away.
Late in the evening the arrival of a large herd of elephants complicated matters.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Koilpillai said that the situation was being closely monitored. If necessary, the authorities in the adjoining Mudumalai Tiger Reserve would be requested to send kumkis to keep the other elephants away and facilitate treatment of the injured calf. However veterinarian Vijayaraghavan said that the calf’s chances of survival were very slim.