Coimbatore: Two tuskers were found dead, probably during fights with other members of a herd, in the Coimbatore and Satyamangalam forest areas.
In the first incident, a male tusker was killed in a fight with another elephant, possibly during an attempt to mate with a female, near Kallar in the Mettupalayam forest area.
“The 13-year-old male elephant sustained deep wounds on its neck and suffered heavy blood loss. Fight among elephants is common during their breeding period. The dead elephant was also in musth (a surge of male hormones when it wants mate),” said a forest department staff.
The incident came to light when forest department staff patrolling the forest fringes noticed the carcass of the tusker on Saturday.
Acting on the directions of district forest officer M. Senthil Kumar and led by ranger N. Musthafa, they examined the carcass of the tusker and confirmed that it was killed during a fight. An autopsy was conducted on the body of the elephant before it was buried.
Forest department staff also removed the tusks from the elephant before burying it to prevent thei being taken away by unscrupulous elements for sale in the black market. “The tusks will be displayed for people to view it in the Vandalur zoo in Chennai,” said an official.
It may be noted that three elephants have died in the last four months in forest areas like Boluvampatti and Sirumugai forest ranges due to similar reasons.
In another incident, a 15-year-old male elephant was found dead in the Satyamangalam forest range in neighbouring Erode district on Saturday.
Anti-poaching watchers, who spotted the carcass of the elephant, informed the forest department officials. They claimed that this animal also died after suffering injuries during a fight with another elephant. It was buried following a post-mortem.