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Experts call deaths of 18 elephants in Assam ‘mysterious’, govt orders probe


New Delhi: Days after reports of the deaths of 18 elephants in the deep forest presumably due to lughtning strike, the experts have termed the deaths as a mystery.

The wildlife experts called the tragic incident from central Assam`s Nagaon district as very “mysterious” and demanded a thorough probe into the matter.

Though, district Deputy Commissioner of Nagaon Kavitha Padmanabhan said a team of wildlife, forest and veterinary department officials have been dispatched to the mountainous Kandali Proposed Reserve Forest to ascertain the cause of deaths of the 18 jumbos.

The report of the same is awaited.

Experts have called the deaths as mysterious because the bodies of the animals were scattered and the signs of a ‘lightning strike’ were not clear.

“If the elephants died due to the thunderbolt, there might be some burn injuries and other effects of the lightning at the spot. But whatever visuals I have seen there are some doubts about the nature of the death of the elephants,” Wildlife expert and Annarwaruddin Choudhary told IANS over phone.

Meanwhile, following the directions of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya accompanied by senior forest, wildlife and veterinary department officials visited the forest areas on Friday.

After visiting the area Suklabaidya tweeted: “The preliminary report of enquiry has been asked to be submitted within three days and a detailed investigation report within 15 days. We will unravel the exact reason behind their tragic deaths soon.”

While, an 8-member panel has been constituted to carry out the inquiry into the death of the 18 elephants and file a preliminary report within three days and a detailed account in the next 15 days.

(With inputs from IANS)



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