DALTONGANJ: Two newborn elephant calves were found dead in compartment number 2 of the Betla National Park on Friday.
The calves were found on a hillock at Sugwa Semer. It was the forest strike force that first noticed these two bodies, said Anil K Tiwary of the task force. One calf had a broken rib which meant that it was trampled down by another elephant or by the mother herself.
The field director Syed Ehtesham Hussain Kazmi said, "The two calves were newly born. Their amniotic sack was un cut. One had broken ribs. The two calves were of two different mother elephants. They were lying ten feet apart from each other."
Kazmi added that as these calves were found on a hillock full of rocks they would be cremated and not buried. He said all precautions would be taken for cremation of these two calves. The field director described the deaths as natural.
Herd of elephants raise a protective wall when any pregnant elephant delivers calf. Here in this case two pregnant elephants were to deliver calf exactly at the same place there must have been more excitement among the elephants of the herd who in sheer rapture just got these two calves dead by way of trampling as one's ribs were totally broken and the other too found dead in a precarious condition.
Kazmi ruled out any foul play or death as any resultant of elephant - man conflict. Kazmi stated further that for these two dead calves a herd of 20 to 25 elephants kept guarding them till this noon. Any one going near these two dead unarmed or un guarded could land oneself in great jeopardy.
He said elephants mourn the death of their calf till the calf is not disposed of either by burial or by cremation. Only three days back there was the casualty of a tusker in the buffer area of the PTR. One of its tusk was removed by the poacher while the other one a small one was left.
Kazmi said this tusker seemed to be poisoned as any fatal dose of Malathion could make any huge elephant of the year 20 to 25 die a slow death.