Other States

Assam elephants died in two groups 1 km apart

A veterinarian team checks the dead bodies of wild elephants suspected to have been killed by lightning, in Nagaon. File   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

The carcasses of the 18 elephants reportedly killed by lightning in central Assam’s Nagaon district on May 13 were found in two groups 1 km apart, an official statement said Saturday.

The State government also said the “freak natural incident” was being corroborated based on meteorological reports while the samples collected by a team of experts after a post-mortem were being “further examined for microbiological and toxicological aspects” in the laboratory.

According to the statement, the assistant manager of Topajuri Tea Estate had at 1:45 p.m. on May 13 informed the officials at the Kathiatoli Range of Nagaon Forest Division about four carcasses.

The local forest officials later found 14 more strewn on the foothills of the Bamuni Hill within the Konduli Proposed Reserve Forest about 1 km away.

“After thorough investigation of the carcasses and based on circumstantial evidence, the team of experts and officials suggested that the cause of death of these elephants, which appeared to be part of a herd, could be due to the strike of lightning,” the statement said.

It said the microbiological and toxicological report received from the forensic laboratory would be made public at an appropriate time.

Experts from the College of Veterinary Science in Guwahati, veterinarians from the Assam State Zoo and Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation in Kaziranga were among the team that collected samples and conducted the autopsy.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 5:33:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-elephants-died-in-two-groups-1-km-apart/article34565913.ece

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