Bhubaneswar: A wild tusker was killed in a forest in Odisha after eating some fruit or vegetables suspected to have been stuffed with crude bombs that exploded in the animal’s mouth, an official said Tuesday.
The sub-adult tusker (about 14 years old) was in grievous pain when forest department officials found the jumbo in the Bharatpur forest area on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar Monday.
The elephant’s tongue was severed and its jaw was shattered in the bomb blast.
Veterinary experts from Nandankanan Zoological Park and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology were engaged to treat the animal, divisional forest officer (DFO), Chandaka Wildlife Division, Sarat Chandra Behera, said.
Though saline, antibiotics and painkillers were given to it, the tusker did not survive, said veterinary doctor Indramani Nath who treated the elephant.
The animal succumbed to injuries Monday night.
Poachers sometimes leave pineapple or ash gourds filled with crude bombs to hunt wild boars in the forest area, and the animal might have eaten one of those several days ago, officials said.
The jumbo was also hungry as it could not take any food for days due to injury in the mouth.
Post post-mortem examination of the tusker was conducted.
“We will investigate to ascertain in what circumstances the elephant swallowed the bomb and who was involved in planting it,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Susant Nanda said.
The wild elephant, which was part of a herd in Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary, probably entered into the Bharatpur forest from Khurda area, Nanda said.