Another case of elephants dying due to poisoning has surfaced in Chhattisgarh days after the Palakkad elephant death was reported. One of the elephants was full-term pregnant.
The incident occurred in Pratappur range, Ganeshpur village, Surajpur forest division in Chhattisgarh. In the last five years, about 22 elephants have died in Surajpur division alone.
There were reports that the elephants died due to liver damage. One died on Tuesday and the other died on Wednesday. The villagers on Monday heard loud noises from elephants in the jungle. They went into the jungle on Tuesday and found the body of an elephant.
The villagers informed the forest officials who reached the spot and took the body for postmortem. The postmortem was carried out by Dr. Mahindra Kumar Pandey. The doctor had earlier stated that during the postmortem it was found out that the animal was pregnant and had liver infection, which was the cause of her death. He stated that the pond from where the elephant consumed water was supposedly poisoned.
Elephants were poisoned
Forest officials were reached out by the International Business Times, India, and they stated on condition of anonymity that the two elephants belonged to the same herd and the reason for the death was poisoning but there was no room of any allegations yet.
The officials stated that they were waiting for the post-mortem reports to come out in order to decide the next course of action.
Gauri Maulekhi, an animal activist, had posted about the incident on Twitter stating that how could two elephants die of liver damage one after the other. Forest officials further added that it is possible that the only pond from where the elephants consumed water was poisoned but it could not be established for sure.
Maulekhi wrote, "No. Two young elephants don't die at the same spot in two days because of liver infection. Surely, that is what is used as an excuse to cover up a case of poison baiting." She further added that the forest department is yet to send viscera for the toxicology exam.
One official also stated that many animals die due to snares and baits used by humans but the cases go unreported. These cases are coming to light probably after the Palakkad case caught everyone's attention. Data states that between 2014-15 and 2018-19, 510 elephants and 2,361 humans were killed due to human-elephant conflicts.
It was recently reported that a woman was killed by an elephant while she was sleeping in Chhattisgarh's Korba district.
Animal habitats are being destroyed by humans and animals tend to wander to human habitats and this is where the problem lies, it was further added.