See link for photo.
The animal had fallen into the ditch with her four-month-old calf and another elephant while searching for food on Wednesday morning.
While one of the three elephants had come out of the pit on its own, the calf was rescued later and sent to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) in Kaziranga.
State forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma, who visited the site of the incident on Thursday, directed the forest department to take strict action against those responsible. Pramila Rani told the media, “This was (a result of) utter negligence. There was no fencing at the construction site in spite of regular elephant movement in the area. I have asked the department to file an FIR against those responsible for not taking steps to prevent wild elephants from falling into construction pits.”
She also asked the park authorities to resume construction only after having taken preventive steps.
CWRC veterinarian Samsul Ali said, “Preliminary investigation found that the elephant had died of internal injuries. Postmortem report is awaited.”
The calf was shifted to a special ‘crawl’ in CWRC where it is being kept with two other calves of the same age group. “It’s important to minimize the stress level of the animal,” said a CWRC official.
Reacting to the incident, former chief minister Tarun Gogoi said, “Strict action should be taken against those who are responsible for the death of the elephant. I doubt though that the state’s BJP government will take any action against Patanjali as Ramdev is highly influential.”
When asked, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “The forest department is taking care of the matter.” Sonowal himself had laid the foundation of the Rs 1,000-crore industrial park earlier this month in a function attended by Ramdev.