Wild elephant buried on private property in Kerala: Culprits still on run


PTI, Jul 16, 2023, 8:30 AM IST

The Forest Department, which is investigating the ”mysterious” death of an elephant found buried on a private property near a forest area in this central Kerala district on Friday, is still in pursuit of the culprits. The carcass of the wild elephant was found with a tusk missing.

The department has apprehended four people in connection with a tusk seizure case from the Kodanad range in Ernakulam district that they believe may be linked to the initial finding.

Forest Minister AK Saseendran on Friday ordered a probe after the elephant carcass was found. Forest officials had said the property owner was absconding, raising suspicion that the elephant was trapped and killed for ivory.

The department on Saturday said the four arrested in connection with the recent seizure of a tusk were attempting to sell it. The officials are probing into the connection between the two incidents.

A senior forest official told PTI that the real cause behind the death of the elephant can be ascertained only after nabbing the suspects, including the property owner, as the carcass was found in a severely decomposed state.

”The search is on for the culprits,” the official said, adding that Roy, the property owner, is still on the run.

Saseendran had termed the incident ”mysterious” and said the elephant might have been electrocuted or killed by other means.

Forest officials on Friday conducted a search on the property in a village near a forest area based on a tip-off.

Forest Officer (Machad Range) Sreedevi Madhusoodhanan had told reporters that they conducted a preliminary inquiry based on the tip-off, which proved to be correct. The department reached the property on Friday morning, found the buried elephant and exhumed its carcass.

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