Liver disease reason for nine elephant deaths in single reserve forest of Coimbatore division over two years

Liver disease is said to have been the major reason for the death of nine wild elephants in over a period of two years in a single reserve forest (RF) of Coimbatore Forest Division, namely Pethikuttai, bordering the water storage areas of the Bhavanisagar Reservoir.

Already, eight elephants that died in Pethikuttai RF of Sirumugai forest range from 2020 had liver disease as per post-mortem findings.<SU>A tusker aged between 12 and 13 that was found dead in Pethikuttai on Wednesday too had liver disease, said A. Sukumar, Forest Veterinary Officer of Coimbatore Forest Division who autopsied the carcass on Thursday along with two other veterinarians.

“The tusker’s liver had nodules. It is suspected to have died of hepatitis. Already many elephants have died of liver disease in Pethikuttai,” he said.<SU>The portion from the tusker’s stomach to rectum was empty and it seemed to have not taken fodder for over a week, he added.

As per a study conducted by the Forest Department, a total of 17 elephants have died in Pethikuttai since 2020 of which nine had liver disease. This year alone, five elephants died in Pethikuttai of which four including the tusker that was found dead on Wednesday had liver disease.

Following the continuous death of elephants in Pethikuttai, the Department recently tasked a five-member veterinary team headed by Dr. Sukumar to study reasons for mortality.

The team in its report had suggested the Department to send<SU>samples collected from elephants during post-mortem to the laboratory at the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Anaikatti, for advanced tests.

District Forest Officer T.K. Ashok Kumar said a set of samples collected from the tusker that was found dead on Wednesday would be sent to SACON for analysis.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 6:41:08 pm |