A female elephant has been found dead in the core area of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) in Lakhimpur Kheri.
The carcass was spotted by a patrol team in Chandpura area of Dudhwa range on Monday.
There were no injury marks on the carcass and the condition of the carcass suggested that the pachyderm had died two days ago.
But it was not clear whether it had died a natural death or was poisoned. An autopsy will be done by a panel of three veterinarians.
The elephant had apparently rolled in a sandy bed of a dry water body before dying as its carcass was coated with mud, officials said.
Manoj Sonkar, deputy director, DTR, said, “All the organs of the elephant were intact and there were no injury marks or signs of infighting. We deployed a dog squad and checked the area.
“Prima facie it appears that the elephant died a natural death but the actual cause will be ascertained after the autopsy by Dr Daya Shankar, Dr Baburam Nigam and Dr Arvind Kumar Singh. The videography of the autopsy will be done.”
“The principal chief conservator of forests and other senior officials have been informed about the elephant death. We have asked all the patrol staff to be alert and keep an eye on all suspicious activities,” he stated.
Dudhwa, according to the 2017 census, had 137 wild elephants. The numbers fluctuate as the herds move frequently between India and Nepal.