The decomposed carcass of a female elephant was found in Bhandardara beat under Nawana range in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) situated in Mayurbhanj district on Saturday night.
Forest officials said, the jumbo which is around 40 years in age might have accidentally fallen from atop a hillock 30 feet high before crashing into a tree leading to severe injuries and subsequently its death.
Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF), North Wildlife Division, STR Pradeep Kumar Dey said the mishap probably happened some seven to eight days back due to slippery paths on the hillock in the wake of heavy rainfall in the national park.
Forest staff engaged in the head counting of tigers and birds in the Similipal Wildlife Sanctuary spotted the carcass of the giant stuck in the tree and recovered it.
Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) and Field Director of Similipal Tiger Reserve M Yogajayanand and Deputy Director Sai Kiran along with two veterinary teams from Jashipur and Similipal Tiger Reserve rushed to the spot after receiving the information and burnt the decomposed carcass of the animal after conducting an autopsy.
The forest officials have launched an investigation to find out the circumstances under which the jumbo died. However, the officials said that the exact reason behind the death of the elephant will be ascertained in the post-mortem reports.