Two elephant calves were found dead at Chinnakanal 301 Colony on Thursday and Friday, raising concerns of a viral disease in the animals.
On Thursday, a three-year-old calf was found dead by the local tribesmen, who informed the Devikulam range office. A team under veterinary surgeon Selvam conducted a post-mortem examination.
On Friday, a five-year-old calf was also found dead at the same place. A veterinary team under C.F. Jayakumar from the Konni forest division conducted an autopsy.
Mr. Jayakumar on Saturday said the deaths were caused by herpesvirus, a haemorrhagic disease affecting Asian elephants.
Devikulam range officer C.K. Ajay Ghosh said the viral disease was found among elephant calves and they would take steps to prevent it from spreading to other areas.
The 301 Colony, set up to rehabilitate landless tribespeople, is under constant threat from wild elephants. Following a number of fatalities, many had abandoned the settlement.
It is an elephant corridor and there had been proposals for evacuating people from the area.