TN forest officials arrest 2 for killing wild elephant

The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has arrested two people for killing a wild elephant at the Anchetty forest range.

The two V. Muthu (35) and C. Kaliyappan (28) of Ezhumanaidodi near Anchetty were arrested on Saturday night and remanded in judicial custody.

According to Department officials, villagers who had gone to the forest to graze cattle had found the carcass of the elephant on Wednesday and informed the local forest range office.

Forest officials on inquiry found that the carcass was that of an 18-year-old wild elephant that had a bullet injury on the right part of the head.

K. Karthikeyani, wildlife warden, Hosur forest division that includes the Anchetty forest range, told IANS: “Special forest teams led by Anchettty, Urigam, and Hosur range were formed to nab the accused and elite force of forest squad and dog squad were also included in the team. Two of the accused were arrested while another accused is still at large.”

He said that the two accused had gone to the forest on Wednesday to hunt rabbits but found a wild elephant charging at them suddenly.

Kaliyappan shot it on the head to escape and this led to the death of the wild tusker.

The wildlife warden also said that an autopsy of the carcass was done in the presence of Dharmapuri Assistant conservator P. Muniyappan and forest veterinary surgeon Dr. Prakash. Three kg of tusk was also recovered from the carcass of the elephant.

The wildlife warden said that a meeting of the village heads and elected representatives will be held in Anchetty range where three wild elephants were killed in the past three years.

The Forest Department will urge the villagers to surrender their country-made guns and special teams including dog squads will be pressed into service on new moon days to prevent hunting.

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