Forest Dept., police in Coimbatore conduct joint drive against country-made
explosives following elephant death
Wilson Thomas, The Hindu
December 6, 2023
The Forest Department and the Coimbatore District Police are conducting a
joint drive against country-made bombs in villages bordering forests, after
a crude explosive claimed the life of a male elephant, a few days ago.
A tusker aged about nine was found dead with its lip bone fractured, one of
the molars broken and an injury on its palate within the compound of the
Central Training College of the Central Reserve Police Force at
Kurudampalayam on Sunday.
As the post-mortem findings suggested that the multiple injuries in the
elephant’s mouth could have been caused by a country-made bomb, joint
inspections were carried out in forest areas of Nayackenpalayam beat
falling under the Periyanaickenpalayam forest range on Tuesday.
Forest staff led by Periyanaickenpalayam forest range officer M. Saravanan
and policemen from the Periyanaickenpalayam station headed by a
sub-inspector conducted the drive against country-made bombs, locally known
as ‘avittukai’, which poachers use to hunt wild animals for meat.
Valavan, a Kanni breed sniffer dog of the Forest Department that is trained
to detect explosive materials, was used for the drive, said District Forest
Officer N. Jayaraj.
The search team also covered places, namely Amman Nagar, Bharathi Nagar and
Thandu Perumal Kovil downhill, which lie close to the forest. The drive
continued on Wednesday, covering places, including Nayackenpalayam Pirivu
According to the Forest Department, no suspicious materials were found
during the drive on Tuesday and Wednesday. The exercise will continue on
Forest Department staff suspect that the elephant, with the injured mouth,
could have come to the jurisdiction of the Coimbatore Forest Division from
the Kerala side. As per the forest veterinarian’s opinion, the elephant
could have suffered the injuries two to three weeks before its death.
“There have been zero cases of wild animals like wild boar or deer being
hunted for meat using avittukai in the Coimbatore side in the recent past.
If the use of the crude explosive was rampant, we would have come across at
least a few cases involving animals other than elephants. We suspect that
the tusker could have come from the Kerala side after suffering the
injuries,” said an official.