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Jumbo calf dies of infestation in Valparai
An elephant calf, aged just three to five months had died of starvation following intestinal infestation in Valparai.
The workers noticed an ailing elephant battling at High Forest Estate for life and informed the Forest Department on Friday evening. A team led by Manampalli Range Officer A Manikandan and veterinarian Meyyarasan examined the sick elephant.
It couldn’t stand up on its feet and remained extremely weak. The elephant was administered with pain killers and vitamin tablets to boost its health. Yet, the jumbo failed to show any signs of recovery and had died on Saturday. An autopsy was carried out on the animal and the carcass was buried in the same place.
An official said that there were traces of mud in the animal’s stomach suggesting that it could have led to infestation. It was starving in pain for at least a week before dying. The Forest Department found it challenging to drive away the mother elephant which stood guard to its dead calf.
After a long drawn effort, the officials managed to drive away the elephant inside the forest cover. At least 19 elephants have died of various reasons till September in the seven ranges of Coimbatore Forest Division as against 12 elephants in the whole of last year.
An expert committee has been studying the reasons for spate in elephant deaths to take necessary preventive measures.