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TN, Kerala Forest Depts search for sick elephant

Responding to criticism over delay in treating the animal over jurisdiction issues with Kerala, the DFO said ever since the front line staff sighted the animal, it was brought under observation.

COIMABATORE: Multiple teams of the Forest Departments from Tamil Nadu and Kerala have launched a search operation for an ailing wild elephant spotted in the interstate border near Coimbatore on Monday.

“In a joint exercise, eight teams, four each from our side and four from Kerala are searching for the elephant. It was last sighted around 2.15 am on Tuesday at Dasanurmedu under Attapadi forest range in Kerala. Drones have been deployed,” said TK Ashok Kumar, DFO, Coimbatore.

Local villagers have been asked to alert the Department, if they come across the wild elephant, aged around eight years, as the area has a large spread of ‘patta’ lands on either side of Kodungarai river, where the animal was last sighted on Monday.

Responding to criticism over delay in treating the animal over jurisdiction issues with Kerala, the DFO said ever since the front line staff sighted the animal, it was brought under observation.

“There was no delay in treatment as the animal has to be observed first. It was fed with guava and jackfruit as per advice of veterinarians. The animal consumed them and moved away at night and is untraceable,” he added.

Veterinarians from Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) have been roped in and two kumkis from ATR are to be engaged in the search. Officials believe that the animal is likely to have gone weak for starving following a mouth injury.

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