Forestry experts monitor elephant behavior after two deaths

Bijnor (UP), December 28 (IANS): Forest officials at Najibabad Elephant Reserve and Amangarh Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh are now monitoring elephant behavior after two pachyderms apparently died fighting in separate incidents.

The forestry department authorities on Sunday found the carcass of a 10-year-old elephant in the Kaudiya massif, in the Najibabad elephant reserve in Bijnor.

A month ago, a 40-year-old jumbo was found dead in a six-foot-deep ditch, about 10 miles from the guesthouse.

Wildlife experts say their injury marks indicated the two had died fighting against each other, likely over territory or mate.

Manoj Shukla, the Divisional Forestry Officer (DFO) in Najibabad, said: “Both were adults. It is rare for elephants of this age to fight.

Now, foresters are monitoring the activities and movements of a herd of elephants spotted in the Kaudiya Range to determine the reason for the infighting between the defenders.

Shukla said: “According to the condition of the 10-year-old elephant’s carcass, it appears that the jumbo died in a fight between two herds of elephants. This was evident from the number of trees lying on the ground, torn from their roots. Staff had heard loud trumpets at night. “

He said the battle between the herds is a matter of concern as there are at least 100 elephants in the Najibabad division.

“Our staff have been put on alert and are monitoring the activities of the jumbos,” he said.

Anil Kumar Patel, forestry officer in the Bijnor Division, said there are times when an adult elephant becomes a thug and becomes a nuisance to its own herd. The herd turns on its own member and tries to drive it away. The result can be a bloody and fatal battle. This is believed to be the cause of the jumbo’s death in Amangarh.

“The dead elephant suffered many deep cuts and bruises. After losing the battle, he may have tried to flee and fell into a deep ditch and bled to death,” he said.

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