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Elephant deaths: TN forest department to convene public meetings

- April 2, 2022

Chennai, April 2 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu forest department will hold meetings with the public living close to the forest areas to get feedback on the cause of elephant deaths in the state. The department along with NGOs involved in elephant study will conduct the meetings with the public as there has been an increase in the number of elephants that die, especially in Coimbatore forest range.

On Thursday, the carcass of a female elephant was recovered from forest area under the Coimbatore forest range. Forest officials after postmortem  said that the ten year old elephant whose body was 5 to 7 days old had died of liver ailment.

The Chief Wild Life Warden of Tamil Nadu forest department, Syed Muzzammal Abbas has on Friday issued an order constituting a committee including Forest officials and NGOs to study the cause of elephant deaths in the state. Tamil Nadu, according to forest department officials has recorded more than twenty deaths of elephants during the last year.

Sources in the Forest department told BPNS that the department has not set a time frame to conduct the study regarding the elephant deaths but will conduct a detailed study on the cause of deaths. The committee also wants to ascertain whether some diseases unique to elephants were the cause of a large number of elephant deaths.

Poaching is also another reason for the death of elephants and committee will reach the sites of elephant deaths and meet people of the area and give a detailed report on the same.

Deaths due to electrocution, accident by being hit by trains are categorized under unnatural deaths and these deaths are also being probed so that a white paper is prepared and presented to the concerned departments including the electricity board and the Indian Railways. This is to take preventive measures against the elephants being hit by trains or being electrocuted.

The committee that would probe the deaths of elephants includes additional principal chief conservator of forests, I. Anwardeen and IFS officers C.H. Padma, J.R. Samartha, and K. Kalidasan, President of Osai an NGO based in Coimbatore.

Kalidasan, of Osai while speaking to BPNS said, “ We will be studying the natural deaths of elephants and would ascertain each and every case separately. The cases will be studied based on the age group of the dead elephant, whether it is breeding elephant, whether any disease was spreading likewise.”

He said that the work will commence immediately but had not set a time frame to finish the study.