Special team to find new family for orphaned calf

A special team has been formed to ensure the orphaned baby elephant, whose mother died in Narasipuram, finds a home with a herd.
The heart-rending scene of the baby elephant standing in tears over the dead mother jumbo
The heart-rending scene of the baby elephant standing in tears over the dead mother jumbo

Chennai

After the 30-year old cow-elephant died on July 5, the calf mounted a vigil for hours, preventing forest officials and others from approaching the carcass. It was the fifth case of jumbo death in a fortnight. A Periyasamy, District Forest Officer, Coimbatore, said the team decided to allow the young elephant to grieve the death of its mother. “We allowed the calf to be with the mother the entire night. 
On Wednesday morning, the calf had returned to the wild. We have formed a 10-member special team, consisting anti-poaching guards, local forest officials and forest guards, to take care and track the movement of the calf until it reaches the herd. A post-mortem of the dead jumbo was also held. Death was due to a sudden fall, caused by weakness from a worm infection in the intestines,” he said, adding that the elephant deaths occurring so far are due to natural causes. “These recent deaths are mere coincidence. A 10% mortality is normal for any animal population,” he said. 
B. Ramakrishna, Assistant Professor in Wildlife Biology at the Government Arts College in Ooty, said the loss of habitat could play a role in these pachyderm deaths. “These deaths are mainly due to disturbances in the habitat. There is loss of the elephant corridor, degradation of environment and increasing man-animal conflict. We need to take serious action to protect these habitats and ensure their ecological requirements are fulfilled. Elephants are large animals and they require food, water and shade to survive. We need to secure their habitat to take care of the present and future elephant population,” he stressed.  Dr. Arivazhagan, an elephant researcher since the last 20 years, said increase in both, human and elephant population, is leading to man-animal conflict. 
“To accommodate the growing human population, forest land is being used. Especially in the corridor areas, forests are being degraded. Elephants and other animals are forced to come out of the forests in search of food. Moreover, roads and railways built on forest lands will lead to more such casualties,” he concluded. 

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