Thursday, March 25, 2010

Elephant deaths in PTR: steps needed to trace violent tusker

KATTAPPANA: The death of two female elephants in the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) within two weeks allegedly after being attacked by of a wild tusker in musth has raised concern among conservationists here.

Fourteen elephants, including a calf, had died of wounds caused allegedly by the attack of a lone tusker in the reserve in the past three years. Last year, nine female elephants and a calf died following attack by the tusker. In 2008, three female elephants died in a similar manner.

The Forest Department officials and experts said that all deaths were caused following attack by a violent tusker, which turns violent during the summer season. Minister for Forest Benoy Viswom had also directed the Forest Department to take immediate action to rein in the wild tusker. A forest guard and two watchers were put on duty for tracing the tusker and it was finally spotted.

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