KOCHI: The death of two elephants under mysterious circumstances in Kuttampuzha forest range has raised the alarm, forcing the state forest department to conduct a probe into the incident, which will include a detailed forensic examination of the internal organs of the elephants.Preliminary probe revealed that while one of the elephants had some bruise marks on its body, there were no signs of any external injury on the other one’s body. The bodies of the tuskers, aged six and four respectively, were found at Perappamkuthi and Narakkamthodu about 5km away from Pooyamkutty.
The department has decided to go in for a detailed analysis considering the prevailing situation of Covid-19 outbreak in the country. Though the chances of wild animals getting possible virus infection are remote, the department had sent the internal organs for examination to rule out any possibility of viral infection.
“It was two weeks ago that the bodies of the elephants were found inside the forest. We want to ascertain the exact cause of death because one elephant did not have any signs of injury on its body raising some doubts on the cause of death. We have sent the samples collected from the body for detailed examination and the results are awaited,” said Malayattoor Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) S Narendra Babu.
On April 6, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had issued an advisory regarding containment and management of Covid-19 in national parks/sanctuaries/tiger reserves as it was felt that there are possibilities of spread of the virus amongst wild animals and also transmission of the virus from humans to animals and vice-versa.
The advisory had asked chief wildlife wardens of all states to implement various measures such as restricting movement of people to national parks/sanctuaries/tiger reserves, and constituting a task force/rapid action force with field managers and veterinary doctors to manage the situation as quickly as possible, in addition to enhancing the disease surveillance, mapping and monitoring system through coordinated effort among various departments.
Tusker Seetharaman dies of cardiac arrest
Kochi: Seetharaman, an elephant of Cochin Devaswom Board, died here on Friday. Devaswom officials said the 70-year-old tusker collapsed and died at a plot near Tripunithura, where he was taken for feeding. Veterinary doctors who inspected the elephant cited a massive cardiac arrest as the cause of death. The carcass of the elephant was taken to Kodanad for burial. Cochin Devaswom Board became the custodian of the elephant in 1981 when it was presented to Uthralikavu Temple in Vadakkanchery by a private firm. Seetharaman was brought to Poornathrayeesa temple six months ago to carry the idol of the deity.