Early on Monday morning around 5.00 am, a tusker estimated to be about 12-years-old, tragically passed away near the Anaikatti forest area in Coimbatore district. This was after the forest officials and state veterinary doctors tried to treat and revive the weak-looking elephant when it was first sighted near the forest border on Saturday morning.
Officials share that the animal looked like it had starved for a while and had lost all its strength. Initial post mortem results by three doctors have revealed that the animal could have been injured by another male elephant during a fight. Coimbatore District Forest Officer (DFO) Venkatesh tells media that the injury found in its mouth has lead them to suspect that it could have been caused by another male.
â€śWhen we opened its mouth we saw that on the left side of the upper jaw had a long piercing that measured about nine cms wide and 15 cms long. The injury also looked clean. This could only indicate that another male might have pierced it with its tusk,â€ť he explains.
Consequentially the injured animal, unable to consume food, would have starved. â€śWe first found it around 9.30 am on June 20. At first, we noticed that its mouth was swollen. We then gave the animal some fruits and also added some medicines to it. To help treat whatever injury it may have. At that point, we were unable to inspect further,â€ť says Coimbatore DFO.
Briefly gaining its strength, the animal left to the forest but the officials were dismayed to find the animal lying down in the forest area on Sunday morning. â€śWhen we checked we were able to see that there was an injury on its upper jaw on the left side. It was also heavily salivating in the area,â€ť he adds.
Refuting claims that that animalâ€™s injury could be a case of snare, similar to the one that killed a pregnant elephant in Kerala earlier this month, Forest officials said, â€śHad that been the case, then the animalâ€™s tongue would have been severely damaged. Here there was no tongue damage. Moreover, the deep piercing looked smooth. We suspect it can only be because of a fight. The elephant may have starved for about 10 days. When it was seen near the forest border, it must have lost all strength. Weâ€™ve seen two to three similar cases in the past.â€ť