The 40-year-old elephant is believed to have suffered burns on its ear in an attack with some ‘flammable object’. “It is definitely a cruel and inhuman act. A probe is underway to identify and punish those responsible. The villagers in the locality were questioned to locate the culprits,” said an official.
The attack on the animal occurred despite the Forest Department keeping a close watch to treat its wounds. The elephant died shortly after being captured to be taken to Theppakadu elephant camp for better treatment.
Meanwhile, Forest Department officials claimed that apart from burn injuries the elephant was found to be suffering from an infected deep wound caused possibly in an attack by another wild tusker. “A sharp object, which could be a tusk of another elephant, could have pierced the animal on its back damaging its lungs. The wound worsened and formed puss that was removed in huge quantities. It could also be one of the reasons behind its death,” said the official.
The residents of Masinagudi, who were pained by the death of the elephant, put up condolence notices. They also offered their prayers to the animal, which had been moving around in their neighbourhood over the last two months without harming anyone. Following a post-mortem on Wednesday, the carcass of the animal was left for vultures to prey upon.