A male elephant, seriously injured in a suspected fight with other tuskers, died in Kerala on Monday without responding to treatment by the Forest Department veterinarians, officials said.
The elephant with injuries and appearing weak was spotted in a plantation at Arthalakunnu early last week and treatment started after being tranquilised.
"There was slight progress in its health... However, our efforts to save its life could not succeed", Mannarkad (South) Divisional Forest Officer Sajikumar said.
He said the injuries were not man made but due to fighting with another tusker.
"Makhana (tuskless male elephant) must have sustained injuries during fight with other tuskers. It had injuries on its penis, tongue and abdomen. The forest veterinarians suggested that the injuries are out of a fight," the official said.
The treatment was under the supervision of the Chief Veterinary Surgeon Arun Sakaria and veterinarian Mithun.
A team of doctors from the Veterinary University will conduct a post mortem, which would confirm the exact cause of death, the DFO added.
The incident comes days after a 15-year-old pregnant elephant died after it consumed a fruit stuffed with firecrackers that burst in its mouth in the Silent Valley forest area in neighbouring Palakkad district and it died in Velliyar River a week later on May 27.
In another incident involving the jumbos, two elephants created a flutter as they strayed into the resort town of Munnar in hilly Idukki district and ran through a market area, destroying at least five shops on Sunday.
Amid a protest led by local ruling LDF MLA S Rajendran over the incident, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden Surendrakumar said the elephants started coming out from forests and entering towns as traffic and movement of people dwindled due to COVID-19 lockdown.
"We have asked the Forest Department to take necessary steps to safeguard the life and property of the local people here," he added.
The MLA alleged the Forest personnel refused to take any action despite pleas for safeguarding the life and property of local people from wild animals.
Also read: Pregnant Kerala elephant: Eyewitnesses recount days leading up to death