Three elephants poisoned to death in Bengal forests

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Kolkata, Jul 19 (UNI) West Bengal Forest Minister Ananta Roy today said three wild tuskers, found dead in Sukna forests, North Bengal, were poisoned and ordered immediate arrest of all suspects.

Talking to reporters here, the Minister said the forest guards recovered two carcasses in Sukna forests yesterday and one during the day from the same forest area.

Mr Roy said according to post mortem reports all the wild pachyderms were poisoned to death.

He suspected that the local people probably had been conniving with poachers to kill wildlife in Sukna forest.

A report from Siliguri said all female elephants- one adult and two minors, were found dead at Khoglog area of Sukna, adjacent to Simulbari tea estate.

Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife, North Bengal, N C Bahuguna told UNI that the wild animals might have succumed after eating pesticidal plants.

He said Simulbari tea estate workers had sprayed excessive pesticides to destroy unwanted bushes around the estate on July 17 and subsequently four people had taken seriously ill on the following day. All four had to be shifted to a local hospital.

Mr Bahuguna suspected that all three elephants might have devoured pesticidal plants and died, as postmortem reports found presence of pesticides in stomachs.

Wildlife ranger Kanchan Banerjee said a specific case would be filed to punish the guilty for destroying wildlife.

UNI XC-PC ADG SRC 1839

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