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25 May 2019, Edition - 1411, Saturday

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Coimbatore

When a baby elephant chewed a doctor’s finger

Covai Post Network

Coimbatore: This is the poignant tale of a two month old calf that lost its mother to starvation and had to be nursed back to health after it remained without milk for almost 20 days because of its sick mother.

An elephant was found dead inside a manure put at Chinnampatti near the Erode forest division. The elephant which used to frequent the agricultural fields along with its two month old calf never posed any disturbance to the villagers.

The mother elephant however was not keeping well and one fine day the villagers found its carcass inside a pit. Upon the sudden death of its mother the calf was left alone with no feed. The two month old wandered beside it’s mother’s carcass and did not allow anyone to come close. As the calf got unruly, the villagers caught the calf and tied it to the tree next to the mother’s carcass.

This act has however been objected by the animal lovers. As the forest officials were alerted they rushed to the spot and removed the mother for post mortem. It is also alleged that the villagers had then called for a local veterinarian to tranquilize the calf that had reportedly got unruly after the death of its mother. This has also been objected by activists as they feel that the animals in the wild should only be handled by the doctors associated to the forest department.

It was now that Veterinarian of the forest departement Dr. K.Ashokan is engaged to handle the calf. He examined the calf and saw that the mouth and throat of the calf was dry due to starvation for over a week.

He immediately fed the calf with banana, jaggery, glucose and two litres of milk.

While trying to activate the fluid secretion inside the baby elephant’s mouth, his hand got stuck inbetween the narrow gap of the elephant’ s teeth and the animal began to chew his finger inadvertently. ” I was unable to remove my finger nor was i able to shout with the area teeming with media and officials from the forest department. I did not want the headline “doctor’s finger chewed by elephant calf ” blaring on the headlines the next day, Dr. Ashokan quipped. Luckily for him there was no fracture but the chew got out the tissues of his finger.

After treating the injury on his finger he returned back again to nurse the elephant to health. The calf was then released into the forest but sadly within a week the baby elephant died.

Speaking to The Covai Post animal activist Sirajuddin said that we came to know that usually in such cases the elephant is monitored for a week or two to see if it mingles with its herd . If it mingles it is left alone else the forest officials track it down and separate it from the herd and give them sanctuary until the baby is able to fend for itself.

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