Coimbatore: A 35-year-old elephant was Monday found dead in Odanthurai area in the district, officials said.
Forest rangers and some locals noticed the elephant in a weak condition in the area last evening and immediately informed senior forest officials.
A few officials, along with a veterinarian, rushed to the spot but could not step near it as the animal was guarded by a herd of elephants, forest department sources said.
Officials returned early in the morning today to attend to the elephant but it was found to be dead, they said.
Even as the officials were preparing to carry out post- mortem, the officials were forced to step back when the herd returned, the sources said.