Mayurbhanj: Amid concerns over the death of as many as six elephants in Karlapat Sanctuary in Kalahandi district in just a fortnight, an elephant calf is suspected to have been killed by a tiger in Tangro reserve forest under Bisoi range of the Rairangpur forest division in Mayurbhanj, a forest department official said on Monday.
The carcass of the elephant aged around 4-5 months, was spotted by some people on the outskirts of the Kunjakacha village who immediately informed local forest personnel. A team rushed to the reserve forest area to carry out an on-spot investigation.
Speaking to OTV, Nabin Chandra Singh, the Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) in Rairangpur informed, "The elephant calf is believed to be 4-5 months old. Pugmarks of the big cat were spotted in the area. A team of forest division had gone to the spot to investigate the cause of death of the calf. A senior official of the Wildlife Trust of India and a Veterinary officer were also present during the probe."
Following a post-mortem, the dead calf was buried in the forest in presence of senior wildlife officials.
Such cases of elephants being attacked by big cats are infrequent mostly because the former move in large herds. Reports claimed that a herd of elephants had been venturing in the area for the last few days, and the calf was killed 2-3 days back when it strayed far from the herd. The calf was attacked from behind, and the carnivore has also eaten its trunk, said sources.
While it is being claimed that the tiger had killed three cattle a day before it made the elephant calf its prey, the forest department officials are trying to track the movement of the big cat.