THRISSUR:Close on the heels of a tiger attack in Wayanad in which one woman was killed generating a cross border outcry, a 9-year-old elephant is suspected to have fallen prey to a marauding tiger near the tea estate in Valppara, bordering Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
It is suspected that the pachyderm was attacked either by a streak of tigers or a marauding wild cat in the tea estate near Valppara when the elephant was gracing there. The bad state of carcass found on the estate on Tuesday clearly explains that the incident might have taken place a week ago.
Earlier, tigers had hunted down two elephants, including a calf, in two separate incidents in the forests of the state a couple of years ago – one a seven-year-old elephant at Sairandhri in the Silent Valley National Park, the other one, a three-month-old calf, at Kappayam in Edamalayar range.
The forest official, who inspected the site, also verified the signs of fatal fights between the two animals and the pug marks of the tiger at the site. However, they have also not ruled out the possibility of a panther attack.
The post-mortem report of the elephant had also reported that the animal died of fatal injuries suffered in the attack. The forest officials suspect that the jumbo might have been sick due to some other diseases, making it vulnerable to the attack by other predators.
In a recent census ‘Status of Tigers in India, 2014,’ the authorities have found that the country houses 70 per cent of the world’s total tiger population with the latest assessment estimating at 2,226 big cats, up 30 per cent from 1,706 in 2010.
Similarly, the largest increase was recorded in the Western Ghats region – Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Tamil Nadu – with 776 tigers, an increase from 402 in 2006, and the Mudumalai-Bandipur-Nagarahole-
Wayanad complex holds the world’s single largest tiger population, estimated at over 570 tigers.
com/states/kerala/Tusker- Falls-Prey-to-Wild-Cat-Attack- at-Valppara/2015/02/25/ article2685890.ece