Elephant carcass found near Dholapathar nullah in Dhenkanal, cause of death unclear

Gondia: The carcass of an elephant was found Saturday evening near Dholapathar nullah in Kapilash Wildlife Sanctuary under Gondia block of Dhenkanal, a senior official informed today.

The official source said that the Makhna (tuskless male Asian jumbo) was around 28 years of age. A team of forest officials comprising Angul Regional Chief Conservator of Forests (RCCF) M Yogajayananda, Dhenkanal Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Prakash Chandra Gogineni and Kapilash range officer Tarun Mohanty and several others reached the spot after being informed by locals, but could not recover the carcass after the fall of night. Various samples of the elephant’s body were collected the next morning and sent to Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) in Bhubaneswar for testing.

The elephant was wandering in the nearby areas of Sorisiapada reserve forest since last few days. Actual reason behind the elephant death has not been ascertained yet and can be confirmed only after a post-mortem report comes in. Following the post-mortem carried out by Gondia veterinary doctor to find out the cause of death, carcass of the jumbo was buried in a large pit, the senior official added.

The adult Makhna elephant might have come near the Dholapathar nullah for the purpose of drinking water and subsequently have slipped into the water body and died, the forest official guessed.

It is pertinent to mention here that jumbo deaths are repeatedly being reported from the Sorisiapada reserve forest under Sarangi and Kapilash ranges of the district. However, the Forest department seems to be least concerned about safety provisions of the pachyderms leading to untimely deaths.

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