BHAWANIPATNA: Carcass of a baby elephant was found in Katingkuna of Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary on Wednesday sparking fears of another outbreak of haemorrhagic septicaemia in the forest. Divisional forest officer (DFO) South division, Kalahandi T Ashok Kumar said the carcass was of a six-month-old baby elephant. After being separated from the herd, the calf was roaming alone in the forest. The cause of its death can be ascertained after postmortem.
Chief district veterinary officer Chaitanya Sethi said on being informed by the DFO, a veterinary team went to the spot to conduct postmortem and collect the calf’s bone marrow for tests. The team is yet to return from the spot. It is not possible to ascertain the cause of death till laboratory examination, he said.
Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary hit the headlines following death of seven elephants in February this year.
From February 1 to 20, seven jumbos including five females, one male and a calf, were found dead in the sanctuary, sparking concern among locals and wildlife activists. The DFO then had said the deaths were due to haemorrhagic septicemia as per the tests conducted at the Centre for Wildlife Health, OUAT.
A three-member Central team also visited the sanctuary on February 20 to find out the factors leading to sudden deaths of the elephants in the bacterial disease. During field study, they detected a carcass of an elephant calf.
As per the 2018 wildlife census, Karlapat was home to three herds comprising 17 elephants. Spreading over 175 sq km, the sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna. It is also dotted with mountains and valleys and has perennial streams and waterfalls.