Elephant found dead in Rajaji, ninth pachyderm death in 6 months (India)


Times of India

Date Published

Dehradun: The carcass of an elephant was found floating in a river in Haridwar range of Rajaji Tiger Reserve (RTR). RTR director Sanatan said that it appears that the pachyderm slipped into the river on Tuesday and died of asphyxiation.

This is the ninth Asiatic elephant to die in Rajaji and the nearby Haridwar forest division in the past six months.

On September 15, a mother elephant and its calf died of electrocution in Haridwar range. On October 6, a calf fell from a height and died in Shyampur range of Haridwar forest division. A female elephant died in a train accident in Motichur range of Rajaji on October 15. Another female elephant was found dead in Kansro river of Khanpur range. On November 30, a female elephant died of electrocution in Chilla range of Rajaji. An elephant died after falling from a hillock in Rajaji on December 24. A tamed elephant died of a mysterious disease on February 4.

Sanatan said that all elephant deaths were natural and no incident of poaching had been reported. He said that many calves had also been born in this period so it would balance the jumbo population.

Some wildlife activists said that the forest staff should be more alert so that such deaths can be prevented. Dinesh Pandey, wildlife activist, said, “Forest staff should regularly patrol the area. Had the staff been alert, may be lives of some elephants could be saved.”