Elephant not denied treatment: Forest dept (India)


The Hindu

Date Published
The Forest Department has dismissed allegations that a wild elephant captured from Attappady was denied medical care.

Thrissur-based Heritage Animal Task Force, an elephant welfare organisation, had alleged that the tusker had been badly wounded after being shot at by poachers using air guns. V.K. Venkitachalam, secretary of the organisation, accused the department of neglecting the need for extricating the pellets from its body and that this caused a deep wound on its forehead.

However, Forest Department officials have rubbished the claims. A team of officials, led by forest veterinary officer C.S. Jayakumar, had inspected the elephant recently.

“The elephant, which is estimated to be around 45 years old, has been sluggish since its capture. No efforts have been spared in ensuring its good health. No pellets were found in the wound as has been claimed,” a source said.

According to the official, it was common for wild elephants to sustain injuries during territorial fights and other activities in the forest. In the case of the particular elephant, a crack was found in its skull, leading to an infection. All possible efforts were being made to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the body.

In his complaint, Mr. Venkitachalam alleged the elephant strayed into human-inhabited areas after being attacked by poachers.