Forest Dept., police in Coimbatore conduct joint drive against country-made explosives following elephant death

December 06, 2023 07:37 pm | Updated 07:37 pm IST - COIMBATORE

A special drive for country-made bombs being conducted by the Forest Department along with the police in Periyanaickenpalayam forest range on Wednesday.

A special drive for country-made bombs being conducted by the Forest Department along with the police in Periyanaickenpalayam forest range on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

The Forest Department and the Coimbatore District Police are conducting a joint drive against country-made bombs in villages bordering forests, after a crude explosive claimed the life of a male elephant, a few days ago.

A tusker aged about nine was found dead with its lip bone fractured, one of the molars broken and an injury on its palate within the compound of the Central Training College of the Central Reserve Police Force at Kurudampalayam on Sunday.

As the post-mortem findings suggested that the multiple injuries in the elephant’s mouth could have been caused by a country-made bomb, joint inspections were carried out in forest areas of Nayackenpalayam beat falling under the Periyanaickenpalayam forest range on Tuesday.

Forest staff led by Periyanaickenpalayam forest range officer M. Saravanan and policemen from the Periyanaickenpalayam station headed by a sub-inspector conducted the drive against country-made bombs, locally known as ‘avittukai’, which poachers use to hunt wild animals for meat.

Valavan, a Kanni breed sniffer dog of the Forest Department that is trained to detect explosive materials, was used for the drive, said District Forest Officer N. Jayaraj.

The search team also covered places, namely Amman Nagar, Bharathi Nagar and Thandu Perumal Kovil downhill, which lie close to the forest. The drive continued on Wednesday, covering places, including Nayackenpalayam Pirivu and Kattanjimalai.

According to the Forest Department, no suspicious materials were found during the drive on Tuesday and Wednesday. The exercise will continue on Thursday.

Forest Department staff suspect that the elephant, with the injured mouth, could have come to the jurisdiction of the Coimbatore Forest Division from the Kerala side. As per the forest veterinarian’s opinion, the elephant could have suffered the injuries two to three weeks before its death.

“There have been zero cases of wild animals like wild boar or deer being hunted for meat using avittukai in the Coimbatore side in the recent past. If the use of the crude explosive was rampant, we would have come across at least a few cases involving animals other than elephants. We suspect that the tusker could have come from the Kerala side after suffering the injuries,” said an official.

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