Coimbatore

Skeletal remains of elephant found inside locked noon meal centre in Valparai

The skeletal remains the elephant, found inside the noon meal centre in Valparai, on Saturday, January 29

The skeletal remains the elephant, found inside the noon meal centre in Valparai, on Saturday, January 29

The Forest Department has commenced an investigation, following the discovery of the skeletal remains of an elephant inside a noon meal centre adjoining a government-aided school in Valparai, that had been remained locked due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Sources in the Revenue Department said that the noon meal centre was next to the Government Aided Elementary School in the High Forest Estate in Valparai taluk. As the school has been designated as a polling station for the upcoming urban local body elections, officials on election duty for Valparai Municipality visited the school for an inspection on Friday. As they opened the noon meal centre, they found the skeletal remains of an elephant, the sources said. The room had been locked for several months as the school had remained closed during the lockdown, according to the sources.

Manombolly Forest Range Officer A. Manikandan and Forest Veterinary Officer of Coimbatore Forest Division A. Sukumar, visited the school on Saturday to examine the skeletal remains. Forest Department officials said that as per preliminary investigations, the skeletal remains belonged to a juvenile male elephant that was aged around six years during its death.

The deceased tusker, officials believe, may have entered the noon meal centre through a small opening on the wall in search of food around four to five months ago. After consuming rice and grains there, the juvenile elephant might have become trapped inside the room as the main door was locked, and eventually, died.

It is likely that it died at least five months ago as its carcass has almost completely disintegrated, leaving behind only the skeletal remains including the tusks, the officials noted. Samples from the skeletal remains will be sent for forensic analysis and further investigations will be carried out, according to the Forest Department.


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Printable version | May 15, 2022 3:10:41 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/skeletal-remains-of-elephant-found-inside-locked-noon-meal-centre-in-valparai/article38344435.ece