By Shaju Philip
The wild elephant calf, which was born near a public road and guarded by a herd of pachyderm for several hours in Kerala’s Vazhachal forest last Thursday, was found dead.
Forest officials said the carcass of the calf, born last Monday, was spotted at the banks of Peringalkoothu reservoir in Thrissur on Friday by tribals, who had gone there for fishing. Other elephants were found near the little one’s carcass, mourning the loss of the new member. The elephants were seen caressing the body of the calf with their trunks.
Elephants had turned violent when the forest officials, who were alerted by the tribals, tried to reach the calf’s body. On Saturday afternoon, forest officials extricated the body, which had got stuck in the boggy area of the riverside, after the elephants retreated to the forest. The body was taken to the other side of the reservoir on a bamboo raft for conducting the postmortem.
It was on last Monday, the newborn calf and its mother were spotted on an inter-state road near at Vazhachal forest area in Thrissur district. Soon several elephants started trooping in, gathering around the mother and its calf. At one occasion, there had been around 20 elephants, guarding the mother and its calf. Forest officials had blocked the vehicular traffic at 7 km away from the spot.