Coimbatore: This was known by a study on elephant mortality, carried out by J Peter Prem Chakravarthi, a biologist from Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) and N Sridharan, an ecologist from Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR).
Curiously, 90 per cent of the elephants have died of natural causes such as infighting and a range of infections. Barely ten per cent of the elephants died due to unnatural reasons like electrocution, train mishaps and accidents.
Last year, among the 101 mortalities, Coimbatore forest division lost the maximum of 15 elephants and a majority of 64 are adults aged above 15 years, says the report. And, this year, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) tops by losing out eight animals, out of the total 30. It has also been found that the elephant deaths are high during persistent droughts and comes down during rainy seasons, when they get enough fodder and water.
Meanwhile, a 72-year-old ailing elephant named, Vijayalakshmi, is under constant monitoring by a team of veterinarians at Kozhikamuthi tribal settlement in Anamalai Tiger Reserve. “The animal refuses to take food and its vision has also blurred. It has been administered with fluids, antibiotics and medicines to aid its recovery,” said an official.
In another wild life related development, a post mortem carried out on Sunday on a female elephant, which was found dead in Pollachi forest range on Saturday, revealed that the animal had died in an attack by another tusker, while mating.