An elephant aged around 22 drowned in the gushing waters of a barrage constructed across the Cauvery, near Kollegal town, on Wednesday.
The elephant was part of a herd that had strayed into Dhanagere and Saragur villages, close to Kollegal town in Chamarajanagar district.
Deputy Conservator of Forests, Kollegal, Malathi, said the herd was retracing its steps back into the jungle in the evening when one of them was caught in the strong currents of the canal and drowned.
Three elephants escape
“However, three other elephants managed to escape,” she said. The Forest Department personnel were looking for the herd and located three of them, but learnt subsequently that one of them had drowned.
Post-mortem was conducted on Thursday and it was confirmed that the elephant’s death was due to drowning.
The herd had earlier sought sanctuary in a field and repeated attempts to nudge them towards the forests had failed.
However, in the evening the herd moved out of the field and tried to cross the barrage to reach the forests. That’s when one of them ventured into the canal and drowned, while the others retreated to the fields.
The remaining members of the herd left the area and the officials confirmed that all the three elephants reached the jungles, which is about 4 km from the spot.
The elephant drowned when the herd was retracing its steps back into the jungle