Hepatitis killed tusker, says report (Coimbatore)
A Subburaj, Times of India
May 13, 2022
Hepatitis killed the male elephant whose carcass was found at Varapallam in
Pethikuttai reserve forest of Sirumugai forest range on Wednesday, says the
Forest veterinary officer A Sukumar said the tusker aged between 12 and 13
did not take food for more than five days as the liver was completely
damaged due to hepatitis and had nodules on it.
“The elephant’s stomach to rectum was found empty as it did not consume any
food for five to seven days,” Sukumar said. According to the forest
department, 17 wild elephants have died in the Pethikuttai area since 2020,
nine because of liver disease.
This area is near the Bhavani Sagar Dam where elephant herds from Wayanad,
Bandipur, the Nilgiris, STR, Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve
gather between February and June every year. “We usually receive
information about the carcass of an elephant in Pethikuttai reserve forest
only a day after its death. By this time the organs deteriorate further and
it is difficult to pinpoint the cause for the liver disease,” Sukumar said.
“If we receive the information within 24 hours, we could collect the liver,
spleen and send them to the laboratory. It would help study the real cause
of the liver disease,” he added. Viral or bacterial infections and worms in
the liver could kill elephants.