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Wild elephant shifted for treatment

Staff Reporter
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An ailing wild elephant was translocated to Parambikulam Tiger Reserve from the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on Thursday for better treatment.

The elephant was administered tranquilizer shots by a team of veterinarians including Arun Zachariah, forest veterinary surgeon; Saseendranath, senior forest veterinary surgeon, Konni; Jijimon and P.T. Dinesh, assistant professors at Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU), Pookode.

Crop-raider

The makhna (tuskless male) elephant, aged around 27 years, had raided crops and spread panic in the villages on the fringes of the forests at Kallur and Naikatty for past two years, apparently in pain because of an abdominal tumour, Roy P. Thomas, wildlife warden of the sanctuary said.

The elephant had reportedly trampled a tribesperson to death recently. Though the animal had been tranquilized for treatment a few months ago, the veterinarians could not remove the tumour as the animal was critically ill, he added.

Kumkis help out

Though the rescue mission started on Wednesday morning with the help of three kumki (trained) elephants, the team could not locate the animal till evening. The team tracked it around 8.a.m on Thursday at Valluvadi forest, Dr. Zachariah said.

Around 8.30 a.m. the veterinary surgeons shot the first tranquilizer dart. A second one was shot around 11.30 a.m. at Neelanchira forest and the effect was felt in 20 minutes. The animal was moved into a goods carrier with the help of kumki elephants.

The elephant would be kept in mild sedation and would be accompanied by a team of veterinary doctors led by Dr. Zachariah, Mr. Thomas said. The animal would be released at Orukomban forest range under the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve after treatment, he said.


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