Intra-herd fight, not gunshot wound on tusker: Athagarh forest officials

The tusker, which bore five injury marks on its back, was spotted by some villagers in the forest at around 8 am on Thursday.

Published: 19th August 2022 05:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2022 05:31 AM   |  A+A-

Vets treating the injured elephant in Athagarh forest division on Thursday | Express

By Express News Service

CUTTACK/ATHAGARH/ROURKELA:  The injured tusker moving in the vicinity of Chatrapada village under Narasinghpur East Range did not suffer gunshot wounds but may have been involved in an intra-herd fight, officials of the Athagarh Forest Division said on Thursday.

The tusker, which bore five injury marks on its back, was spotted by some villagers in the forest at around 8 am on Thursday. The local forest officials were immediately informed. Veterinary surgeon of Satkosia and block veterinary officer of Narasinghpur for medical examination rushed to the spot and started treatment of the elephant. 

The tusker was tranquilised at around 1 pm and treatment carried out in the presence of Athagarh DFO Gopinath Sudarsan Yadav. During examination, three injury marks were spotted on the left side of the tail and one on the right. Another injury mark was noticed at the end of the tail. This apart, the left tusk of the elephant was missing. 

“The injuries are not deep. They were also scanned with a metal detector for presence of pellets, but no metal objects nor remnants were found. As per the vet’s opinion, the tusk of the elephant might have broken during a fight with other male members of a herd,” said Yadav. 

While the blood as well as dung samples of the injured elephant have been collected and will be sent to OUAT for further analysis, the injured animal is under close observation and its health condition is being monitored. 

Yadav said the tusker, aged around 45 years, had strayed into Athagarh Forest Division from Keonjhar three days back. In Rourkela, the carcass of the female elephant calf that died under mysterious conditions, was buried on Wednesday at the remote Kendudihi forest area of Tamra range under the Bonai Forest Division (BFD) of Sundargarh district. 

As autopsy report is awaited, local forest officials suspect the death due to some disease. Bonai Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sanath Kumar said the baby elephant would be between five to 10 years old. She was spotted dead at a remote forest location on Tuesday evening. 

“The baby elephant appeared to have died of some disease as there was no apparent sign of foul play. To ascertain the exact reason of death, the viscera and brain samples have been sent to Bhubaneswar for further examination,” Kumar stated.


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