A wild tusker, aged about 20, was found dead with bullet injuries at Athirattukunnu, near Kenichira in the district, on Sunday morning.
The carcass was found in a paddy field owned by K. Gopalakrishnan of Olimidavu , a farmer at Athirattukunnu, adjacent to the Pathiri section of forest under the Chethalayath range of the South Wayanad Forest Division.
“The carcass was found with two bullet injuries on the middle of its head.
It is suspected that the elephant was fired at from a close range, using a country-made rifle,” Sajikumar Rayaroth, Forest Range officer, Chethalayath range of forest, told The Hindu .
The pachyderm had been sighted near the area earlier, Mr. Sajikumar said.
A pellet, suspected to have caused the elephant’s death, was recovered from its skull during autopsy.
A team of veterinary experts led by Anil Zachariah, Assistant Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Wayanad, conducted the autopsy. A case has been registered, he added.
This is the third such incident in the district in six months.
The killing of a cow elephant, aged about 13, near the Sulthan Bathery-Perikkallur State highway at Nalam Mile under the Kurichiyad forest range of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) on July 30 was the first incident. Later on July 26, another cow elephant, aged about 10, was found dead with gunshot wounds on its head at Melekappikunnu, near Veliyambam, under South Wayanad Forest Division.