Forest Department on alert to treat injured elephant (Coimbatore, India)


Wilson Thomas, The Hindu

Date Published

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An injured elephant calf roaming at Periya Thadagam in the outskirts of Coimbatore has put the Forest Department staff on alert.

According to Forest Department officials, fodder and water have been placed and efforts are on to treat the elephant calf by stuffing medicines inside fruits and placing them along with the fodder.

The department officials said that the injury in the elephant’s mouth could be due to herpes or similar conditions and not the one caused by accidentally biting country made bomb ( avittukkai ) used for hunting wild boars.

They said that the elephant calf with with oral cavity injuries is aged between six and nine. They said that the elephant’s lower lip has been slightly drooped with frequent salivation. According to them, approaching the elephant is not possible as it is often spotted with big herd.

Forest officials said that physiological, pathological and traumatic reasons for the injury were analysed and it was concluded that the symptoms of the injury suggest of pathological origin.

“Bacterial or viral infection is suspected behind the injury. Stochastic events, prolonged unfavourable environment, susceptibility of the animal, emerging pathogens and their actions are also being looked into. A separate team is monitoring the elephant and medicines are provided with fruits,” said I. Anwardeen, Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore Circle.

On Tuesday, the elephant calf that had strayed from forest created scare among villagers of Periya Thadagam.

It had wandered in and around Periya Thadagam for about an hour and damaged a shop. Before officials reaching the spot, the elephant had returned to forests.