Coimbatore

Probe to trace a pair of missing tusks begins

Forest Veterinary Officer A. Sukumar (fourth left) examining the skeleton of the elephant on Monday.  

Multiple teams of the Forest Department are on the lookout for persons who stole a pair of tusks from an elephant, the skeleton of which was found in a reserve forest area of Boluvampatti forest range of Coimbatore Forest Division on Sunday.

A. Sukumar, Forest Veterinary Officer of Coimbatore Forest Division, examined the skeleton on Monday in the presence of District Forest Officer T.K. Ashok Kumar and senior officers.

Officials said that the shaft of the tusks in the skull was intact. The veterinarian reported to the DFO that the tusk shafts did not have traces of the use of axe or saw that poachers normally use to cut off tusks.

He said that the tusks could have been removed from the decomposed carcass using force, by pulling them, at least two weeks after the elephant died.

According to the officials, the elephant is believed to be aged between 25 and 30 and it died at least 45 days ago. As the carcass was completely decomposed, the cause of death was inconclusive.

They said that the entire area, where the skeleton was found, was scanned using a metal detector and magnet to check for the presence of metal items such as bullets and iron pellets used in rifles.

Samples were lifted from the skeleton for DNA analysis.

Mr. Ashok Kumar said the Department pressed into service ‘Valavan’, a Kanni breed dog, that it inducted into service to detect wildlife crimes some months ago.

The skeleton of the tusker was found in Poondi south beat of Vellapathy section of Boluvampatti forest range, around 2 km from Thanikandi tribal settlement.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 4:15:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/probe-to-trace-a-pair-of-missing-tusks-begins/article37169392.ece

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