Another tusker found dead, inquiry panel formed

Elephant

With the mysterious death of four elephants in the last three months in West Midnapore district, the forest department has constituted an inquiry committee to look into the reasons for their death.

The fourth death of an adult tusker was reported today at Dadra village under Keshiary police station. The elephant was found dead near a paddy field in the village with no external injury marks.

The postmortem of the elephant was being conducted till late in the evening and the forest officials said that they will preserve samples of the viscera of the animal for further investigation.

"We are surprised at the deaths. In each case the bodies of the elephants were found with no external injury marks near crop fields," said Milan Kanti Mondal, Divisional Forest Officer, Kharagpur division.

Mondal, who was present at the site of the incident when contacted, said that he has constituted an inquiry team headed by Additional DFO of the Kharagpur division with various forest range officers of the area. The report of the inquiry committee is expected within a fortnight, Mondal said.

Forest officials said that a possibility of man-animal conflict cannot be ruled out in this case. There have been incidents of elephants destroying crop and attacking villagers in these areas, they said.

The earlier three deaths were reported from Nayagram village of West Midnapore district.

After the incident of seven elephants being mowed down by a train in North Bengal on September 22, the cases of mysterious deaths of the animal have puzzled forest officials.

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