May 28, 2023

A female elephant that was recently wounded by a homemade bomb during a capture in a village near Karamadai in Coimbatore district. | Photo Credit: Photo File

The Department of Forestry registered the case and launched an investigation into the death of a wild elephant due to injuries caused by a domestically produced bomb in the forestry department of Coimbatore.

This was reported by the district forester T.K. Ashok Kumar. Hindu a case was filed under section 9 (prohibition of hunting) of the Wildlife Conservation Act of 1972.

According to the autopsy results, the elephant died from injuries sustained when a homemade bomb exploded in its mouth. The case was registered based on the results of the autopsy,” he said.

The female elephant, aged between 30 and 32, died on Sunday, two days after she was caught for treatment in a village near Karamadai in Coimbatore district. The elephant was captured after field workers noticed it was not eating or drinking water. Although the animal was moved to a kraal (wooden enclosure) at the waragaliar elephant camp of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, it did not respond to treatment.

An autopsy on the elephant, conducted on Monday, showed that its right lower jaw and one of its molars were fractured after being bitten by a domestically produced explosive (avittukai). These injuries prevented the animal from chewing food. Its tongue also had a slit in the middle, which prevented the animal from swallowing and drinking water. The famine led to severe malnutrition and subsequently death.

The DFO said a task force had been formed to investigate how and where the elephant was injured after being bitten by a domestically made explosive. The task force will conduct an extensive investigation covering vulnerable areas known for poaching activity.

Since the Karamadai forest area where the elephant was found injured is part of the Nilambur-Silent Valley-Coimbatore elephant population range, the movement of elephants from other parts is a natural phenomenon. This elephant population range is also related to the Brahmagiri-Nilgiris-Eastern Ghats elephant population range.

Since some field workers say they have not seen an elephant within the Karamadai forest area in the recent past, the department is also checking to see if it has moved into the Coimbatore Forest District from other jurisdictions.

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