Tusker Injured in Fight Gets Treated (Bengaluru, India)


Meera Bhardwaj, The New Indian Express

Date Published

A tusker that was injured in a fight with another pachyderm in the Bannerghata National Park received treatment on Monday to prevent its injuries from turning septic.

This is not the first time that a wild elephant, injured in natural fights with other animals, has been treated, but usually, such injuries are left to heal by themselves.

This 30-40-year-old tusker, with injuries on its tail and trunk, was noticed by park staff a week back next to the biological park in the Bannerghata Range. The tusker was kept under observation. On Monday, the animal was given oral antibiotics. Officials say the reason for the injury could have either been a fight or from  fireworks that farmers used to scare it off. But the injuries show that it was due to a fight, an official said.

Bannerghata National Park DCF Sunil Panwar told Express that it was nothing unusual for wild elephants to get injured in natural fights. He added, “Fights are common in the wild and intervention is usually not necessary. A few months back, we had a pachyderm with a limp and it was given treatment. Nature usually takes care, however, we keep injured animals under observation.”

Dr Manilal Valliyate, Director of Veterinary Affairs, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, said that if serious injuries are sustained, human intervention is necessary. He adds, “It is better for wild animals to heal by themselves. Pachyderms in the wild can heal by eating a variety of herbs, drinking lot of water to flush out toxins. But when the injury is serious, it is the duty of the park vets to take a call.”

Wildlife experts added that animals fight for reasons ranging from competition to separation from their herds.