June 21, 2016
In a shocking turn of events, the lone tusker, known as the Madukkarai Maharaj, died in the Varagaliyar Elephant Camp in Top Slip here on Tuesday. The less-than-20-year-old elephant that was captured on Sunday had been aggressive, and was reportedly given an overdose to keep it calm.
However, the elephant had developed sickness on Tuesday, while still being in the Kraal and had died, without responding to the treatments given by the camp veterinarians.
According to sources, overdose of sedatives was suspected to be the reason behind the death of the young male tusker. Sources claim that the elephant had died early evening.
The elephant was caught using Kumkis on Sunday after repeated complaints that it had raided crops and had allegedly killed two persons, including a forest official, near Madukkarai.
The forest department had earlier cited research papers presented by D. Boominathan, Landscape Coordinator of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), to carry out the operation. Despite the insistence of environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts that the animal be relocated to a safer location within the forest, the forest department officials were determined and continued with the operation. Forest Veterinarian N.S. Manoharan was reportedly overseeing the health of the animal.
The elephant was to be tamed as Kumki. NGO s lament that he was not even given a radio collar operation, as it could have given some tangible evidence to prove that it was indeed a rogue elephant as was alleged.
Condemning the act, wildlife enthusiasts have claimed that the so called “meticulously planned operation” was nothing more than utter failure, resulting in the brutal killing of the animal.
“This is unfortunate that the elephant had died. It should have been roaming freely in the jungle,” observed an environmentalist.
K. Mohan Raj, another environmentalist from Coimbatore, has expressed that a CBI enquiry be conducted into the death of the elephant. “The operation was doomed from the beginning. The reasons given by the forest department should be assessed and a proper investigation should be conducted,” he added.
It may noted that a 25-year-old female elephant was run over by a speeding train on Monday.