Udhagamandalam: A three-month-old male elephant calf that was brought to Theppakadu elephant camp for rearing died on Friday night. Postmortem revealed that it had ulcers in the intestines.
The calf was first spotted with its 40-year-old ailing mother elephant at the foothills of Marudhamalai in the Coimbatore forest division on May 30. While the foresters were treating the mother elephant, which was unable to stand on its own, the calf returned to forest along with its sibling, a sub-adult male elephant, and joined a herd.
Even as the foresters released the mother elephant into the forest after successful treatment, the calf was abandoned by the herd. While the foresters made several attempts to reunite the calf with its mother and various herds, they didn’t succeed. Subsequently, the calf was taken to the Theppakadu elephant camp on June 9.
“An experienced mahout was exclusively assigned to take care of the calf, which was kept in a separate kraal. It had been doing well at the camp,” said a forest officer.
On Friday, the calf was found very weak and sick. The forest veterinarian attached to the MTR treated the calf. But it died without responding to treatment around 8.45pm, the officer said.
“During postmortem, it was found that the intestines were infested with ulcers. Samples of the vital organs have been collected for lab tests. Once the test results are out, we will be able to ascertain the exact cause of the elephant calf’s death,” he said.

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