Elephant carcass found near Silent Valley Buffer Zone
Forest officials seized a pair of elephant tusks from a cloth shop at Perinthalmanna and arrested four youngsters for their alleged involvement in ivory trade.
The arrested were Nidhin Shah, 23, from Karuvarakundu in Malappuram; Shanu, 28, from Pathanamthitta; Sumesh, 28, from Kollam, and Mohammed Sahil, 22, from Perinthalmanna.
A search is on for one more person, Rishan, 22, from Karuvarakundu.
The youngsters fell in a trap set by the intelligence wing of the Forest Department.
Forest officials on Saturday found the elephant carcass from which the tusks were reportedly taken away.
The carcass was found in a private land at Cheri near Karuvarakundu, less than 10 metres away from the Silent Valley Buffer Zone.
A necropsy was conducted on Saturday evening, officials said.
Kalikavu Forest Range Officer P. Suresh said the totally decomposed carcass was nearly two months old.
One of the tusks was 92 cm long and the other 78 cm. They weighed 10 kg.
Mr. Suresh said they could not find any bullet wounds during necropsy.
The elephant must have been around 20 years old.
A DNA examination will be conducted as part of the investigation, he said.
The youngsters reportedly admitted that they had taken out the tusks from the elephant which had a natural death.
“We will have to investigate it further. At present we can presume that they did not kill the elephant,” said Nilambur South Divisional Forest Officer Saji Kumar.