By Pinak Priya Bhattacharya
A 'makna' (male elephant without tusks) was found dead in a paddy field at Garo basti, Birpara, in the Dooars on Wednesday.
According to sources, a herd of four elephants entered the paddy field at the basti beside Dalmore forest early on Wednesday. The elephant might have died after eating paddy that was sprayed with poison, they said.
Witnesses said that on Wednesday they heard the screams of an elephant. The other tuskers guarded the elephant for a while but returned to the forest once it died.
"The spot where we found the body falls under an elephant corridor. The jumbos enter the paddy fields in search of food. Some people might have sprayed poison on the paddy to stop these elephants. We are investigating into the incident," said Bidyut Sarkar, forest officer, Jalpaiguri division.
This is the first case of elephant poisoning in north Bengal over the past two years.