Injured Elephant Found in West Karbi Anglong

Young Elephant Struggling For Life

Residents of Bogiguri village located near the Kheroni forest Range office in Hamren subdivision, West Karbi Anglong, detected one wild elephant lying with multiple gun wounds inside the sugarcane plantation yesterday morning.

Upon hearing the information from the villagers, departmental officers rushed to village with medical aid.

Inhabitants of the locality claimed that a strong group of poachers equipped with sophisticated arms is active in the area and are poaching wild animals regularly for trading. Villagers say that on Friday evening a large herd of wild elephant crossed the area and it is likely poachers shot the animal at that time.

Dr. Bijoy Dutta, well-known veterinary expert was rushed from Guwahati at the personal initiative of Jotin Sharma, Divisional Forest Officer of Hamren forest division who performed a number of operations to extract bullets which hit the animal in her back and abdomen. A team of doctors from Wild Life Trust of India also arrived from the animal rescue centre based at Kajiranga National Park and started medication.

“The female elephant is semi adult aged between 11 to 12 years and my personal estimation is that she has been shot by spatter cartridge and she was injured few days back, due to strong resistance power, the animal kept on moving and consumed normal fodder but the pellets of the cartridge inside her body caused severe reaction and she could not move further. Doctors are constantly monitoring the situation. A temporary shed has been erected and supply of water has been ensured, till now 7 bottles of saline has been injected; but her condition is not very promising, but we are doing our best,” Jotin Sharma DFO Hamren division said in a phone interview.

The experienced forest officer also expressed doubt that the incident is a plain case of men elephant conflict because the elephant is not a tusker and a professional poacher would not have sufficient reason to kill the animal.

“Probably some time back, when the herd was plundering some paddy or sugarcane cultivation, villagers in order to drive out the herd shot the elephant with a muzzle loader compressed with pellets and gunpowder causing multiple injuries,” Jotin Sharma said.

At present, the injured elephant is responding well to medicine.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.