Tamil Nadu

10-year-old elephant found dead near Manimuthar dam

The 10-year-old female elephant which was found dead at Therkku Paappaankulam near Manimuthar dam, on October 14. Photo: Special Arrangement  

A 10-year-old female elephant, which was spotted roaming along the periphery of the forest near Manimuthar dam in the Western Ghats for the couple of days, was found dead in a private farm at South Paappaankulam on Wednesday.

When the farmers of Pottal and Therkku Paappaankulam near Manimuthar dam in the district spotted the elephant roaming close to their now empty ranches near the reservoir on the lap of the Western Ghats a couple of days ago, they alerted the Kalakkad – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) officials.

After assessing the animal’s condition from close quarters, the KMTR team placed food stuffed with medicines in the areas where the elephant was moving around.

Since the elephant could not walk fast and did not take food or water, the animal’s condition deteriorated further. It was found dead in the farm of agriculturist Sudalaikannu of Therkku Paappaankulam on Wednesday.

On getting information, the KMTR officials including deputy director of KMTR’s Ambasamudram division Kommu Omkaram arrived at the spot with forest veterinarian Manoharan to conduct on-the-spot post-mortem to ascertain the cause of the death.

Mr. Omkaram told The Hindu that a team of KMTR personnel had been deployed in Pottal and Therkku Paappaankulam area on getting information about the elephant sluggishly moving near the now empty paddy fields. Though the food stuffed with medicines was placed at several points, the animal did not take any food.

“There is no possibility of starvation death as food and water is abundantly available in this region. We, during the post-mortem, could see the elephant, having infection in the mouth, had consumed palm fruits, but could not digest it. The infection in the digestive system might have caused the death. Anyway, we can come to a conclusion only after getting the post-mortem report,” said Mr. Omkaram.

He added that the organs of the animal were intact and the pathologist, who was part of the post-mortem team, alone could identify the type of infection that had apparently caused the death.

The deputy director also ruled out the chances of the animal being poisoned for having invaded into the fields, saying that all the paddy fields in this region were empty now as harvest had been completed.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 2:45:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/10-year-old-elephant-found-dead-near-manimuthar-dam/article32853073.ece

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