Treatment begins for injured tusker at Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

December 06, 2023 08:27 pm | Updated 08:27 pm IST - KALPETTA

Veterinarians of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary applying medicines to the injured tusker after tranquilising it on December 6.

Veterinarians of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary applying medicines to the injured tusker after tranquilising it on December 6. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary officials began treatment for an injured tusker after tranquilising it on December 6.

The animal was knocked down by a speeding bus on the morning of December 4 while it was crossing the Kozhikode-Kollegal National Highway 766 near Edathara under the Sulthan Bathery forest range of the sanctuary.

The animal had sustained serious internal injuries on its shoulder, forelegs, and ribs, apart from outside wounds, warden Dinesh Kumar told The Hindu.

“We have been closely monitoring the animal for the past two days and found that it could not move freely, eat anything, or drink water,” Mr. Kumar, who supervised the operation, said.

Though officials had tried to provide oral medication by mixing medicines with water and fruits in the last two days, the attempt was in vain.

“We had decided to treat the animal after tranquilising it, though it was a risky operation,” he said. Operations for chemical immobilisation started around 9.30 a.m. on December 6. A mild tranquiliser was darted around 12.30 p.m. following another at 1.30 p.m. by a team of veterinarians led by Ajesh Mohandas, veterinary officer, elephant squad.

The animal was sedated around 2 p.m., and the team began to give medicines including antibiotics, painkillers and antiseptics. Pus formation on the elephant’s wounds was also cleared, he added.

The operation was concluded around 3 p.m., and the tusker was finally released to the Pankalam forest area under the sanctuary, S. Ranjithkumar, Assistant wildlife warden, said. “The animal started to drink water after the operation, and we are closely watching the tusker’s movements,” he added.

“We are planning to give medicines to the animal, aged around 30, orally by mixing medicines with water and fruits,” Mr. Kumar said. As many as 100 Forest officials, including frontline Forest staff and veterinarians, took part in the operation with support of three Kumki elephants.

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