Translocated makhna died of fall, say officials
CITY + STATE
COIMBATORE: Amid controversies surrounding the death of a makhna (tuskless male elephant), the forest department ascertained that the animal had died falling off a steep rocky terrain in Pollachi forest range. An autopsy was carried out on the carcass of the animal by a team of veterinarians comprising E Vijayaraghavan and M Senthil Nathan on Monday. “The elephant had an accidental fall into a deep gorge and died. A post mortem revealed that the elephant suffered multiple fractures including a damaged skull and ribs. Its carcass was left in the same spot for scavengers,” said an official of the forest department. The elephant died a few days ago, but frontline staff of the department traced its location only on Sunday on suspicion, after the GPS (global positioning system) enabled radio collar fitted on the animal showed no movement. A habitual crop raider, the elephant was captured and translocated thrice by the forest department. Following persistant demand from villagers, the animal was captured and released into the Chinna Kallar forest area on July 31 after it damaged crops and farms in Sethumadai in Pollachi. The sudden death of the makhna elephant has invited criticisms from environmentalists, who claim that the elephant had died due to frequent sedations during capturing operations and was unable to adjust to a new terrain from its habitual terrain.