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Forest Dept. struggles to monitor injured elephant

The Forest Department is struggling to monitor the injured makna (tuskless male elephant), nicknamed Bulldozer, that has been roaming within the limits of Coimbatore forest range in the last several days.

The makna raided the kitchen of the Special Task Force (STF) at Mangarai, near Anaikatti, on Saturday evening.

While nature enthusiasts criticised the manner in which the elephant was chased away from the STF camp by bursting fire crackers and honking vehicles, forest officials said that the extreme step was taken as the elephant was about to step on an LPG cylinder in the kitchen.

“Kerala forest officials had tranquillised the elephant at Sholayur, near Palakkad, in August. Veterinarians there found that it had severe injuries in oral cavity, which was difficult to treat and cure. They left the elephant free after tranquillisation and it moved to Tamil Nadu side," said a senior official of the Forest Department here.

After raiding the kitchen of STF, the elephant damaged a house near Jambukandi tribal settlement late on Saturday.

The elephant continued to camp within the limits of Coimbatore forest range on Sunday.

“The elephant may not be able to withstand another tranquillisation. Already Kerala forest officials said that the injuries in its oral cavity are beyond repair. Now, we try to give medicines to the elephant in soft food items like multigrain flour that is easy for the animal to consume,” said an official, who is part of the treatment of the elephant in Coimbatore Forest Division.

A special team was formed to monitor the elephant and prevent it from straying into villages.

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