The Forest guards at Kochandy forest station in Ranni forest division have launched an intensive search for a weak and wounded female wild elephant that was found stranded in the forest fringes of Kiliyerinjankallu near Moozhiyar two days ago.
Local people who saw the animal told The Hindu that the animal writhing in pain was found cooling itself by remaining in river waters of Kakkattar for a long time.
They said the stench emanating from the wounds of the pachyderm was nauseating and flies were found swarming all over its weak body.
Wounded in fight or fall
Forest personnel at Kochandy check-post presumed that the elephant might have been seriously wounded either in a fight with a tusker or an attack from a tiger. To substantiate this, they said a tiger was spotted in the forest area a week ago.
The animal’s tail was found cut by half and so was its left ear. Possibility of a fall causing serious injuries to the old animal too could not be ruled out, according to veterinary surgeon, K. Gopakumar.
Dr Gopakumar said the debilitated pachyderm might have failed to move along with its herd. The Divisional Forest Officer, N. Janardhanan, directed the Forest personnel at Kochandy to trace the animal and apprise Dr Gopakumar so that he could tranquilise it and start treatment.
A day-long search for the pachyderm in the forests by Dr Gopakumar, along with Forest guards, on Monday could not yield any result.
He said the seriously-ill animal collapsing in the interior forests too could not be ruled out.
Another wild elephant was found dead in the very same forest area reportedly due to pneumonia a month ago.