Dec. 11: The elephant found with its tusk broken in a mud-pit at Pancharatna reserve forest in Goalpara district of Assam on December 5 was hurt in herd fighting, an inquiry conducted by state chief conservator of forests D. Haraprasad has found.
Environment and forests minister Rakibul Hussain, who received the report today, told reporters that the tusker was injured because of in-herd fighting and ruled out poachers’ involvement. He said the animal’s tusk was broken when it fell down a hillock.
He said veterinarians Kushal Sarma of College of Veterinary Sciences and M.L. Smith of Assam State Zoo had treated the critically injured elephant and it was out of danger now. The two vets are also of the opinion that the animal was injured due to infighting.
Sources said the jumbo was recovering fast and had crawled about 40 metres out of the marshy land since yesterday. It is eating and has also taken a shower. However, it is yet to stand on its feet because of ligament injuries.
Hussain said the elephant found dead at Dulung reserve forest in Lakhimpur district appears to have died a natural death and was not killed by poachers as had appeared in a section of the media.
In another development, the forest department today decided to send a part of the carcass of the elephant found inside Gibbon wildlife sanctuary (under Mariani forest range) in Jorhat district last evening to the state Forensic Science Laboratory in Guwahati. The carcass of the adult male elephant was found in a marshy area under Boideha forest guard camp in compartment four of the sanctuary. It was believed to have been there since the past few days as foul smell was emanating from the area. The tusks and trunk of the animal were missing.
The vet who conducted the post-mortem today found two holes on the back of the elephant but could not ascertain whether they were bullet injuries or had been inflicted by a sharp weapon, divisional forest officer (Jorhat) N.K. Malakar said. He said since no bullets or empty shells were recovered from the site, the portion of the body with holes would be sent to the laboratory for examination.