A wild elephant which turned violent and damaged tourist vehicles parked at Echo Point near Munnar died on Monday morning. The pachyderm sustained injuries on its head from the vehicles’ broken windowpanes.
The elephant was down most of the time for the past three days in the reservoir. There were doubts whether it had swallowed plastic thrown by the tourists.
An elephant expert and veterinary surgeon would come from Kannur for a post-mortem examination on Tuesday, said the Munnar Divisional Forest Officer, S.G. Mahesh Kumar. The age of the elephant was around 50 years and only after a post-mortem examination would the real cause of the death be revealed, he said. “There was a heavy rush of tourists in the area on Sunday and this might have caused the animal to turn violent,” he added.
Animal lovers here have demanded a thorough probe into the animal’s death. The tusker was forced to come out of the forest after it was provoked by people who threw stones at it, said Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) district president M.N. Jayachandran.
He alleged that the Forest Department did not do anything to save the ailing animal which was lying in water. “When an elephant lies in water, it is a sign that the creature has some disease or physical problem. The Forest Department did not take care of the animal forcing it to enter the public place,” he said.
A thorough inquiry was sought into the death of elephants in wildlife sanctuaries in the district as this was not an isolated issue.