Elephant found dead with tusks missing in Anamalai Tiger Reserve

Forest Department officials said the cause of death of the tusker is yet to be ascertained

A wild elephant was found dead with its tusks missing, in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR), Tamil Nadu, Sunday.

Forest Department officials said that they were yet to ascertain whether the tusker was killed by poachers for the tusks or if someone took away a pair of tusks from a dead elephant.

Forest Department staff spotted the carcass of a tusker near Mavadappu tribal settlement, which falls under Udumalpet division of ATR on Sunday. The carcass had begun to decompose, and the tusker is believed to have died a few days ago, said Forest Department sources.

M.G. Ganesan, Deputy Director of ATR, Pollachi division (in-charge of Udumalpet division), said that the cause of the death of the tusker could be ascertained only after a post-mortem examination.

“We could not arrange for the autopsy on Sunday due to elephant movement and heavy rain in the area. As the tusks are missing, we suspect that the elephant could have been poached. However, there is also the possibility of the tusks having been taken away from an elephant that died of natural causes. We are waiting to confirm the cause of death,” he said.

Senior officials of the Forest Department were camping at the location from Monday morning onwards.

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