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20 Sep 2020, Edition - 1895, Sunday

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Sick elephant delivers calf, forest dept draws flak for wrong diagnosis

Covai Post Network

Much to the shock and surprise of forest department officials, the 30-year old female elephant, which was being treated for stomach-related ailments for the last five days, delivered a male calf in the early hours today.

The elephant was found lying in a field at Periya Thadagam on the city outskirts on October 19 and forest department officials were treating it with the help of two veterinarians. They claimed that the elephant, which was not able to stand on its own all these days, was suffering from indigestion due to eating plastic and were giving it medicines, glucose and other supplements.

Even as they brought the animal to the elephant camp at Chadivayal and continued the treatment, the veterinarians were not able to determine that the elephant was pregnant. Thus the officials were caught unawares when the elephant developed labour pain and delivered a male calf at around 4.30 am today.

The forest department received flak from the general public and also from environmentalists, as the experienced veterinarians could not read the symptoms correctly to diagnose the pregnancy.

Both mother and calf are in good health, department sources said.

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