Tamil Nadu forest dept tracking movement of orphaned calves

by IANS |

Chennai, March 18 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu forest department is tracking the movement of two nine-month-old elephant calves orphaned after three female elephants were electrocuted to death on March 7 at Kali Kavundar Kottai Village in Kundalahalli in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu.

Dharmapuri forest range officer Nagaraj told IANS, "The calves were present in the area where the female elephants of the herd were found dead. We tried to feed them fruits and grains but they ate banana leaves and fed on maize fields in the area."

He said that the elephant calves might continue in the area due to the grief. Elephants, he added, have emotions like humans.

The officer said that the elephant calves were now seen following a tusker and added that the forest department is tracking their movement for which an eight-member team has been deputed.

Dung samples of the calves to learn about the health condition of these animals found them to be healthy.

Notably, six days after the female elephants were electrocuted, the calves remained in Marandahalli where the tragedy took place. The Madras High Court had directed the state forest department to closely monitor the movement of the calves after hearing a public interest petition filed by a wildlife enthusiast on the condition of the calves.

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