Coimbatore

Forest department considers capturing injured wild elephant

Under watchful eyes: A forest department staff splashing water on the injured wild elephant at Bokkapuram in the buffer zone of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.   | Photo Credit: Sathyamoorthy M

Forest department officials are “seriously considering” capturing an injured wild elephant in the buffer zone of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) and turn it into a captive elephant at the Theppakadu Elephant Camp.

The 40-year-old tusker, which was being treated by the forest department since December of last year due to an injury in its back, was recently spotted with a gash to its earlobe.

Activists had voiced concerns that the animal had sustained the injury after being attacked by local residents. K.K. Kaushal, Field Director of MTR, dismissed the claims, and said that it seemed most likely that the injury was by natural causes.

However, he added that the forest department are now “seriously considering” capturing the elephant and treating it at the Theppakadu Elephant Camp. “The elephant is not only straying closer to human habitations but is also blocking traffic. As we fear that there may arise some negative interactions in the area between humans and the elephant, we are in discussions to conduct an operation to capture it in the coming days,” said Mr. Kaushal.

Deputy Director of MTR (Buffer Zone), L.C.S.Srikanth, in a statement to the press, said that the elephant was being closely monitored by the forest department for more than a month. “After the treatment was given to the elephant using kumkis last month, the wound had started to heal. However, it wasn’t moving away from habitations,” said Mr. Srikanth.

He added that after a gash was noticed on its left ear, oral treatment was given using medication kept inside fruits. He said that the bleeding had stopped and that the situation was being monitored.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 5:55:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/forest-department-considers-capturing-injured-wild-elephant/article33603784.ece

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