They were passing through the Marigudi temple site, when they heard elephants trumpeting. When they rushed to the spot, they found around 20 elephants surrounding a dead elephant calf.
“The herd, especially a female jumbo, were furious at the death of the calf,” said K Rajkumar, joint director, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR).
Due to the lack of lighting, forest officials decided against approaching the calf that night. But the next morning i.e on Monday, they found the herd still surrounding the calf.
Running out of time and options, they decided to burst crackers to scare the jumbos away. Then they retrieved the carcass and a team of doctors from Erode conducted the autopsy at the same spot.
Later, the carcass was buried inside the reserve forest. Samples of dung, liver, spleen and other vital organs of the calf were collected for detailed examination at the veterinary lab in Chennai.
“The exact reason for the elephant’s death will be ascertained only after chemical analysis,” forest officials said.