Elephant shot dead in Krishnagiri (India)
January 11, 2017
P. V. Srividya, The Hindu

See link for photo.

A 25-year-old female elephant was shot dead by two men in Ulipanda village on the fringes of Jawalagiri reserve forest on Monday night.

The animal was found dead with two bullet injuries on its forehead on Tuesday morning by the locals, who alerted the officials. The elephant was part of a small migratory herd from the North Cauvery Wild Life Sanctuary that stretches from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu.

The accused, whose identity was not known, were from the same village and had allegedly indulged in wild boar hunting in Ulipanda in the past. Hunting of wild boars is an offence in Tamil Nadu, though the Central government has declared the species to be vermin in a few States.

On Monday night, the accused A.Basavaraj (34), son of Anumadhappa, and his friend T.Madesh, son of Thimmarayappa, were reportedly waiting in a tomato field. Basavaraj had taken the land adjoining the tomato field on lease for cultivation.

When the duo and three other men were waiting for the wild boar, they spotted the elephant grazing afar. Basavaraj allegedly used his country-made gun to shoot down the elephant.

On Tuesday morning, a team consisting of officials from the Forest Department, including Conservator of Forests, Dharmapuri, Ashish Kumar Srivastava, District Forest officer, Hosur, Rajendran, along with Hosur Sub Collector Senthil Raju, accompanied by the police reached Ulipanda on receiving the alert from locals.

The Forest Department has booked the men under Section 9, 39 and 51 of Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, and under Section 25(1)(A) of the Indian Arms Act 1959; and under Section 9 B (1) (b) Indian Explosive Substance Act , 1908.

The police arrested Madesh and picked up two others in the village, while the prime accused, Basavaraj, is not traceable.

‘Firing unprovoked’

Mr. Srivastava told The Hindu that the accused could not have shot the elephant in “self-defence” as there were no signs of aggression.

A Revenue Department official similarly, said the the accused had taken time to aim at the head of the elephant that was grazing at a distance.

A parallel report will be submitted by the Revenue Department to the government.

The three-tonne elephant could not be shifted along the difficult unmotorable terrain of the village. Hence, an autopsy was conducted on the spot and was buried at the same spot.

Quite a few instances of shooting with illegal country-made guns in Thally and Denkanikottai area were reported over personal enmity.