The elephant, aged around 40 years, was also attended by a wildlife SOS team from Karnataka. “The injured male elephant died in spite of intensive medical intervention due to severe internal injury caused by the vehicle accident at Denkanikottai Range of Hosur Forest Division,” said Krishnagiri District Forest Officer S Prabhu.
The mishap left the animal incapacitated with multiple fractures and internal injuries. A bone fracture in the right hind foot was diagnosed through X ray. The elephant was crossing the highway, when a truck heading to Chennai from Bengaluru rammed into it on Friday night. The truck driver identified as Sholai Muthu, 35, native of Vilathikulam in Thoothukudi also suffered injuries and was admitted to Hosur Government Hospital. He was booked under Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
More than 100 elephants have migrated from Karnataka and are camping in Denkanikottai Reserve Forest since last month. These elephants in multiple herds frequently cross the Hosur-Krishnagiri National Highway that runs through the reserve forest.
However, lack of proper flood lights during night and absence of speed monitors on this crucial stretch often endangers the wild elephants. In 2015, an elephant calf was knocked down by a speeding car, while in 2016 another pachyderm was hit by a bus near Shoolagiri.
Similarly, in 2017, the tusks of an elephant were broken after it was hit by a lorry on the highway.