The elephant had reportedly wandered into the agricultural fields in search of food and water.

The elephant was shot in Coimbatore after it wandered into the agricultural fields in search of food and water.
news Environment Friday, July 03, 2020 - 08:23

A female elephant found dead in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district was shot in the head, a post-mortem by the Forest Department has found. The elephant was discovered in the wee hours of Thursday with injuries near its ear. Coming just weeks after the horrific death of an elephant in Kerala due to explosives, the elephant’s death in Coimbatore has triggered anger from conservationists.

Speaking to media persons, District Forest Officer (DFO) D Venkatesh said that the elephant had been found in agricultural fields with injury marks near its left ear. Workers who found the elephant lying motionless in the agricultural field informed Forest Department officials.

“We saw that the wound went up to the brain in the skull. When we analysed the brain, we found and retrieved a metal bullet. The elephant had been shot down and then it died,” he said, adding that other elephants had also eaten from the agricultural fields.

The elephant had reportedly wandered into the fields in search of food and water. The Forest Department had initially suspected electrocution as the cause of death. However, a post mortem, conducted by the Forest Department's veterinary doctors Sugumar and Rajesh Kumar, retrieved a corrugated metal bullet from the elephant’s skull. Barbed wire injuries were also reportedly seen below the elephant's ear.

Two people, including the owner of the farm, have been arrested on grounds of suspicion, Ramasamy and Krishnaswamy. "We will enquire further and the forest ranger will initiate further action," said DFO Venkatesh. A rifle was reportedly secured from the men. 

The DFO revealed that the agricultural field itself was under dispute. “This place is related to the Public Works Department. They are growing crops by occupying the land,” he said. 

Another elephant was also found dead on Thursday in the forests of Sirumugai range, Coimbatore. However, the cause of death is yet to be determined.