Forest Department launches investigation into elephant’s death due to crude explosive Coimbatore Forest Division

Updated - March 22, 2023 08:20 am IST

Published - March 21, 2023 06:27 pm IST - COIMBATORE

The female elephant that was injured by a country-made bomb during its capture from a village near Karamadai in Coimbatore district recently.

The female elephant that was injured by a country-made bomb during its capture from a village near Karamadai in Coimbatore district recently. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The Forest Department has registered a case and started investigation into the death of a wild elephant due to injuries caused by a country-made bomb in the Coimbatore Forest Division.

District Forest Officer T.K. Ashok Kumar told The Hindu a case under Section 9 (prohibition of hunting) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, had been registered.

“As per the post-mortem findings, the elephant died of injuries caused by the explosion of a country-made bomb in its mouth. The case was registered based on the autopsy findings,” he said.

The female elephant aged between 30 and 32 died on Sunday, two days after it was captured for treatment from a village near Karamadai in Coimbatore district. The elephant was captured after the field staff noticed that it was not eating fodder nor drinking water. Though the animal was shifted to a kraal (wooden enclosure) at the Varagaliar elephant camp of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, it did not respond to treatment.

The autopsy of the elephant done on Monday revealed that its right lower jaw and one of the molar plates had fractures, after biting into a country-made explosive (avittukai). These injuries prevented the animal from chewing fodder. Its tongue also had a cut in the middle, due to which the animal was unable to swallow and drink water. The starvation led to severe malnutrition and subsequently to death.

The DFO said a special team had been formed to investigate how and where the elephant got injured, after biting into a country-made explosive. The special team would conduct extensive investigation covering vulnerable areas that were known for the activities of poachers.

As the Karamadai forest range, where the elephant was found injured, is a part of the Nilambur–Silent Valley–Coimbatore elephant population range, movement of elephants from other parts is a natural phenomenon. This elephant population range is also connected to the Brahmagiri–Nilgiris–Eastern Ghats elephant population range.

With some of the field staff saying that they had not noticed the elephant in Karamadai forest range limits in the recent past, the Department is also checking whether it had moved to the Coimbatore Forest Division limits from other jurisdictions.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.