Injured wild elephant and calf captured (India)


The Hindu

Date Published
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An injured wild elephant and her calf, which kept tribal families in the Peppara forests, near Vithura, here on tenterhooks for nearly a week, were finally captured and shifted to the elephant rehabilitation centre at Konni on Monday.
Forest Department officials, along with a couple of tamed elephants, spent an entire day, first trying to trace the mother and child and then to tranquilise them mildly before taking the help of two tamed tuskers to hoist both onto a lorry.
According to T. Uma, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Thiruvananthapuram, a team of veterinarians from the department supervised the operation, the planning of which began two days ago. Senior officials were camping near Peppara for this.
T. Pradeep Kumar, DFO, Konni, said the injured elephant appeared to be around 40 years old, while the calf could be around two years old. The mother had injuries all over her body, apparently caused by crackers and other substances used by villagers and tribesmen from the tribal settlements in the region to protect their crops from wild elephants. Both were in a weak condition with the mother apparently suffering from her injuries for quite some time now, he said.
There were deep injuries on the top portion of her left hind leg, all of which would now be attended to by experts at the elephant rehabilitation centre, where the duo would reach byMonday midnight.
A team comprising veterinary surgeon Shasindra Dev, assistant surgeon Fiji Ferdinand and retired veterinarian Sunil had administered a mild dosage of Xylazine to tranquilise the elephant, which made her stand silent for over 30 minutes, which was enough for the tamed tuskers to slowly nudge her towards the waiting truck and help officials hoist her onboard. The calf, though frightened, allowed itself to be lifted into the vehicle.