A 26-year-old ailing elephant, which was under treatment for over six months at the Elephant Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at M.R. Palayam on the outskirts of Tiruchi, died on Saturday.
According to sources, the elephant, Rohini, which was having a weak appetite since the first week of May, collapsed on Saturday. Two veterinarians, who were part of the expert committee appointed by the Forest Department to monitor the health of the elephant, were present when the animal collapsed. The efforts to retrieve it went vein.
District Forest Officer G. Kiran and the officials of the Animal Husbandry Department rushed to the spot and inspected the body. After the post-mortem, it was subsequently buried in the camp.
The captive animal, which was under the custody of an individual in Virudhunagar, was taken to the Kozhikamuthy Elephant Camp near Topslip in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) in December 2008 as per the order of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.
Adjusting to relocation
However, it could not adjust to the new environment. Since the health of the elephant deteriorated, the Chief Wild Life Warden issued an order to shift Rohini to the Elephant Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at M.R. Palayam. It was subsequently transported to the new location in December 2021. Though the elephant showed little improvement in the initial stages, it again started avoiding food. It had a fall on June 8. The intake of concentrated food had come down drastically since then.
As Rohini’s health deteriorated further, the District Forest Officer, Tiruchi, constituted an expert committee a few weeks ago to study its health. Sukumar, Forest Veterinary Officer, Coimbatore, and N.S. Manoharan, former Additional Director, were among the seven-member team. Two veterinarians were monitoring Rohini on a rotation basis 24/7 for over one month, sources added.