By R. Krishnamoorthy
One of them refused to eat and was found to be too weak to survive
A visibly-weak adult elephant that Forest Department personnel found stuck in loose soil of River Moyar catchment was rescued with the use of an earthmover on Wednesday, a day after it was believed to have entered the water.
The female elephant aged about 12 years appeared to be suffering from some ailment, District Forest Officer of Sathyamangalam Division K. Rajkumar said. Officials could not succeed in feeding the animal that could neither rise nor move.
The elephant refused to accept grass and plantain leaves, said the Ranger of Sathyamangalam Range Sivasubramanian, adding that there was little scope for the elephant to survive.
Another adult elephant that also got stranded in the catchment area while drinking water was also rescued by the Forest Department team.
The elephant, also a female, that was estimated to be 20-years-old, was being given medical treatment as one of its legs had got stuck in the slush.
The animal would be looked after, fed nutritional food and sent back to its habitat after recovery, Mr. Sivasubramanian said. The elephants belonged to two different herds, the officials said.
D.Radhakrishnan adds from Udhagamandalam:
In another incident involving an elephant, a team of forest department officials from Nilgiris North Forest Division arrived at Hullathy near Sholur on Wednesday, following reports by local people that a tusker had strayed into the area on Tuesday night.
The team, led by Ranger Periyasamy could not locate the animal.
District Forest Officer, The Nilgiris North, B.Sugirtharaj Koilpillai said that the animal seemed to have moved into the area from the Kalhatty Reserve Forest and raided some crops.
Quoting villagers, he said that such an incident was taking place there after a gap of several years. It was mainly due to the obstructions in the form of buildings that have come up in the elephant corridor near the Sigur and Singara ranges.
He added that efforts are being made to locate and drive the animal back to its habitat.
As a precautionary measure, people in Hullathy and adjoining areas have been asked to be cautious when moving about.
Meanwhile, green activists expressed concern over the development and said that elephants were straying into human habitations because the elephant corridors had been blocked due to unplanned development.
Pointing out that wild elephants have of late become a common sight near the towns in Gudalur area, they said they hoped that appropriate steps would be taken to reduce human-wildlife conflict.