TN Forest Dept to convene public meetings to probe elephants deaths

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The Tamil Nadu Forest Department, along with NGOs, will hold public meetings to get a feedback on the rise of elephant deaths in the state, especially in the Coimbatore range.

On Thursday, the carcass of a female elephant was recovered from the Coimbatore forest range. After post-mortem, it was revealed that the 10-year-old elephant had died of liver ailment about a week ago.

On Friday, the Department’s Chief Wildlife Warden Syed Muzzammal Abbas issued an order constituting a committee, including additional principal chief conservator of forests I. Anwardeen, IFS officers, and President of the Coimbatore-based NGO Osai, to study the cause of the tusker deaths in the state.

According to Department officials, over 20 elephants died in the state last year.

Sources told IANS that the Department has not set a time frame but will soon conduct a detailed study of the matter.

The committee also wants to ascertain whether some diseases unique to these tuskers were leading to their deaths.

As poaching is also another reason, the committee will meet people living near the forest areas to compile a detailed report on the issue.

Death after being hit by trains or due to electrocution are categorised under unnatural and are being probed so that a white paper is prepared and presented to the concerned departments including the electricity board and the Indian Railways to take preventive measures, the sources said.

Kalidasan of Osai told IANS: “We will be studying the natural deaths of elephants and would ascertain each and every case separately. The cases will be studied based on the age group of the dead elephant, whether it is breeding elephant, whether any disease was spreading likewise.”

He said that the work will commence immediately but had not set a time frame to finish the study.

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