Barliyar (TN), July 24 (ANI): An elephant died while trying to save its calf which had slipped and fallen into a pit near Katteri village in the Barliyar forest range of Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
The calf fell into the pit during the midnight hours and the mother elephant struggled to reach it.
It is also believed that the elephant aged around 22 years with its calf was trying to cross the Barliyar forest area.
Initially, forest rangers found it difficult to carry out the rescue operation since the location was quite steep.
"It was very difficult to reach the spot as it is on a steep slope. Rescuers had to climb using ropes and other things but we finally managed to reach there. The calf wasn't injured. We rescued the animal after struggling for five to six hours," said Kannn, Conservator of Forests, Nilgiris Range.
However, environmentalists say that private tea estate owners are using illegal methods to frighten elephants in the region that often result in the jumbos falling into dug up pits and trenches around the tea gardens.
"The area has a thick presence of elephant herds. It is called as migration corridor and has a number of private tea estates. These estates have illegally installed solar fencing in order to drive away the elephants," said Jayachandran, an activist of Green Movement.
Experts have opined that massive deforestation, poaching and people encroaching upon forest corridors have forced the elephants to move out of their natural habitats in search of food and water. (ANI)