Kozhikode: At least 18 wild elephants have died in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) in the last four summer months due to the unprecedented drought in the state. The deaths have occurred despite the forest department authorities ensuring water availability inside the sanctuary by even filling up dried water holes using tankers.
Wildlife experts have attributed the increased elephant mortality during summer due to rise in ambient temperature. The casualties included three calves, four sub-adult and 11 adult elephants. Wildlife veterinarian Dr. Arun Zachariah said, “The heat stress due to the rise in ambient temperature is believed to have lowered elephants’ immunity making them prone to bacterial infections which had caused most of the deaths.