Efforts to save the life of a wild tusker near here have gone in vain. The tusker aged between 20 and 25 years which was seen limping on account of a festering injury on its left foreleg near Vazhaithottam in the Sigur Range of the Nilgiris North Division was treated on Saturday by wildlife veterinarians N.S. Manoharan and N. Kalaivanan with the help of six kumkis (working elephants).

However, the pachyderm which was very weak died early on Sunday.

Meanwhile, there was widespread speculation particularly among wildlife enthusiasts over the cause of the injury. Some felt that it could have been shot at some place and the animal would have moved over a long distance before succumbing.

When contacted by The Hindu, Dr. Kalaivanan said that after a post-mortem examination its tusks were removed and it was cremated.

Pointing out that it had suffered a deep wound on its carpal joint and its bone had also been fractured, he said that the possibility of a bullet causing the injury cannot be ruled out. However, it could have also been caused by a fall.

Since the wound had become septic the infection had spread to the whole body and it had died due to toxemia and other complications.

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