Monday, 30th October 2017

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Baby elephant dies at Tata zoo

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By JAYESH THAKER in Jamshedpur
  • Published 9.10.09

Jamshedpur, Oct. 9: When everyone at Tata zoo had lost hope of his survival, Raja had pulled through. But when they thought the worst was over, he bade adieu.

The injured elephant calf, rescued from Rajabasa forest in Ghatshila and recuperating at Tata Steel Zoological Park in Jamshedpur, breathed his last around 1.30am last night at the park’s clinic. It was buried on the zoo premises this morning.

According to the post-mortem report, the three-week-old calf fondly named Raja by the zoo staff, succumbed to internal chest and intestine injuries.

Veterinary doctor of the zoo, M. Palit, who conducted the autopsy in the presence of forest officials, told The Telegraph that Raja was also suffering from a fresh bout of diarrhoea. However, zoo director Bipul Chakravarty said that it appeared that more than injuries, psychological trauma played a crucial role in the baby elephant’s death.

“We think Raja died because of mental trauma than physical injuries. Elephants are very sensitive and cannot stay without their mothers for long. Raja got estranged from his family and could not cope with the pain. We tried our best to save it but failed,” Chakravarty added.

He further said that the calf must have suffered from complications after its birth. “This could have led its family to abandon it as normally calves are not left to fend for themselves. Separation proved dear for Raja as he sustained injuries after accidentally falling off a hill in the forest. He was very weak when brought to us. But then he started recovering,” Chakravarty said. “However, he had reduced food intake in the past couple of days. He was on saline drip,” he added.

Zoo employees said the animal was okay till last evening. “He strolled inside the small clinic but suddenly fell ill and never looked up again. He lay on the hay and began slapping his trunk before trumpeting for one last time,” a zoo worker said.