Probe launched into temple tusker’s death

TDB accused of ill-treating the animal

April 10, 2021 11:23 pm | Updated 11:23 pm IST - ALAPPUZHA

A probe relating to the death of tusker Ambalappuzha Vijayakrishnan has begun.

On Saturday, Manu P. Menon, Sub Inspector, Vigilance and Security, TDB visited the Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Swamy temple and met the devaswom administrative officer as part of the investigation. The investigation is led by Bijoy P., Superintendent of Police, Vigilance and Security, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB).

The 51-year-old elephant, owned by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), died on the Sree Krishna Swamy temple premises on Thursday.

Animal rights activists and devotees accused the TDB of ill-treating the elephant, denying it rest and proper medication.

Following public protest, the TDB suspended Pradeep and K.A. Ajeesh — two mahouts of the elephant — after finding lapses on their part. G. Baiju, Deputy Commissioner (Haripad), TDB was temporarily relieved of his responsibilities.

‘Severe injury’

The elephant, popular among devotees, had been unwell for some time. In March, in spite of suffering a “severe injury” to its leg, it was taken to a temple in Kollam to be paraded in a festival, after being granted a fitness certificate by a TDB veterinarian.

However, the elephant was brought back following interventions by animal rights activists. It was alleged then that the injury on its leg was inflicted by the “poking with a metal instrument.”

Necropsy in Konni

The investigation team is awaiting the detailed post-mortem report of the elephant. The post-mortem was conducted by a team of veterinarians at Konni on Friday. As per the preliminary assessment, the elephant died of infection in its liver and small intestine. Veterinarians had collected samples of the internal organs of the elephant for detailed examination.

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