COIMBATORE: A 40-year-old elephant was found dead with a bullet injury in the leg on Wednesday in Pandanthorai in the Gudalur forest division in The Nilgiris. A senior official in the forest department said that the animal developed abscess (pus) in the injured part and died of blood poisoning.
The male elephant was starving for the last five days because of pain, the official said and ruled out possibility of poaching. “The animal was found dead in a tri-junction of Kerala, TN, and Karnataka. The tusks were intact. We suspect that farmers in Gudalur might have used the firearm as they have been taking extreme steps to keep wild elephants from damaging crops,” the official said.
Elaborating on the injury, the official said the bullet went six-cm deep after piercing right hind leg. “The injury might have been inflicted three months ago, as we removed three litres of pus on Thursday. The abscess and septicemia (blood infection) might have resulted in toxemia (blood poisoning) causing the death.” Though the tusker was found dead on Wednesday, the forest department managed to take veterinarians to the spot only on Thursday due to the area’s remoteness. Coimbatore Forest Veterinarian A Sugumar and Veterinarian Bharath Jothi carried out a seven-hour-long postmortem exam on the carcass in the presence of District Forest Officer Suresh Soman.