By V. S. Palaniappan
A 25-year-old male elephant was found roaming around Thondamuthur area with injuries on its trunk. It was first sighted on February 26.
In an attempt to lure an elusive elephant with bleeding injuries in its trunk, the Forest Department has placed food items inside the forest areas to prevent the animal from starving to death. A 25-year-old male elephant was found roaming around Thondamuthur area with injuries on its trunk. It was first sighted on February 26. Department suspected the injury to be a fall out of the elephant trying to wade through a barbed wire fencing or to damage any structure with tin-sheets.
The elephant took the Parapatti route and entered Kerala. Now for the past five days, it was sighted in Thondamuthur area of Booluvampatti Range.
Following this, Conservator of Forests – Coimbatore Circle V.T. Kandasamy and Coimbatore District Forest Officer M. Senthil Kumar and Booluvampatti Range Officer C. Dinesh Kumar have established food banks at various places with items normally preferred by the animals.
To use sedatives to tranquilise the elephant for commencing the treatment, the health condition of the elephant needs to be assessed first and then it involved lengthy process. A decision to tranquilise should be proposed by the DFO and then by Chief Wildlife Warden. Using metal scaffoldings, temporary stages have been created and jack fruit, banana stem, maize, rice with jaggery and water melons are kept to lure the elephant. The objective is to prevent the animal from moving long distance and getting into neighbouring State and also to ensure that it never goes through starvation because of the injured trunk. Fruit items are also hung on trees inside the forest area. It had consumed the food kept by the Forest Department twice and the Department wants to use the opportunity for a closer examination of the animal and assess its health condition.
Once the nature of wound and its extent is known, medicines can be hidden inside the food, say Forest Department sources.