| Mortal threat |
Guwahati, Oct. 11: The carcasses of two female elephants were recovered from two separate places near Kaziranga today, barely five days after two elephants calves died of suspected poisoning at Diffloo tea estate near Kaziranga National Park.
One of the carcasses was recovered near the tea estate on the foothills of the Karbi Anglong hills. Preliminary investigations suggest that both the elephants, one of them pregnant, died of suspected poisoning.
The viscera have been sent to the forensic laboratory here for confirmation.
“There are symptoms of poisoning in both the carcasses, but we will be sure only after the forensic report,” a forest official of the east wildlife division told The Telegraph.
On Wednesday, carcasses of two elephant calves were recovered from Diffloo tea estate with signs of poisoning in both. While the first carcass was recovered from an elephant corridor at Panbari around 5am, the second was recovered at Lengrapahar under Dolamora forest range, near Diffloo tea estate around 10am. The distance between the two places is nearly 10km.
The area from where the two carcasses were recovered today falls under the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong elephant reserve. The reserve is one of the main corridors used by the elephants for migration between Kaziranga and Itanki in Nagaland via Nambor reserve forest.
The area is surrounded by tea estates and stone quarries, resulting in constant conflict between man and the animals.
Several persons have died in the areas located near the reserve in the last few years through elephant attacks.
Herds of elephants are also responsible for damaging a large number of human dwellings.
Wildlife activists and the forest department are constantly at loggerheads with the tea garden authorities, blaming them of using pesticides which are harmful for elephants and other denizens of Kaziranga National Park.
A few years ago, two Royal Bengal tiger calves died of poisoning in a tea estate near Kaziranga. Stung with such allegations, a few tea estates have changed to organic cultivation and given up the use of chemicals. However, high cost of production of organic tea is a major hurdle.