A 40-year-old farmer was arrested on Wednesday in Jawalagiri Forest Range in Krishnagiri for shooting down a 10-year-old elephant recently. The farmer, with a patta land near the spot of the incident, was also the one who informed the forest range officials of spotting the dead animal.
According to reports, the police arrested M Muthu Mallesh from Chennamaalam for allegedly killing the elephant.
On November 3, the elephant was found dead at a trench dug to keep away the elephants in Jawalagiri forest range. The Wildlife warden of Hosur said that they spotted the carcass of a 10-year-old dead elephant based on a tip-off by the farmer Muthu who owns a patta land nearby. He was with the team while performing the autopsy and he was trying to divert the investigation by claiming that the elephant died of electrocution, said reports.
However, once the post-mortem confirmed that the elephant died of three pellet shots to the head, he fled from the place. The forest department immediately set up a six-member team and started a manhunt. On Wednesday, they held the suspect with a country-made gun in Krishnagiri.
The farmer allegedly shot the elephant from 20 meters range since the pachyderm tried to raid his farmland. Further inquiries are ongoing.
The death of this elephant has come at a time when the Coimbatore forest range has recorded nearly 20 deaths in the past few months.
In July, a female elephant was shot dead by two men in Coimbatore district. The elephant was reportedly moving around in search of food and water. However, on July 2, the female elephant was found with bullet injuries near the left ear and the bullet pierced the pachyderm's skull, as per an autopsy report.
Police started the investigation and arrested two men who confessed to the crime. Another elephant was also found dead at the same place in Sirumugai forest range in Coimbatore.