Death of Tipu – post mortem

January 10, 2011

Death of Asia’s oldest tusker leads to grimace within the environmentalists lobby here in Uttarakhand and worldwide. Although, the forest official are being blamed for the untimely death of this elephant the matter of the fact is that Tipu died because of the combat with another tusker (younger and stronger). The law of the jungle stamps its authority over human interference antics. I am backing out in my statement made yesterday but that’s what I had been thinking about.

While the forest team failed to keep a vigil eye on the tusker he largely died because of his disorientation after been tranquilized and drugged for his injuries. He got disoriented on a railway bridge he has been crossing for past 65 years.

I now sit and back and wonder if there is anyone to be blamed for this death. Also, I’m not sure if it is an untimely death. A tusker has to give way to another stronger at some point during his life, often by giving away their life after battling it out. Tusker duels are known to last for many days. And it was not apt for the forest department to intervene and separate the tuskers while they were fighting for their dignity and authority in the herd and for forest range.

I also believe that like most other wildlife species it was within the capacity of Tipu to sort his injuries out after a duel. I knew he was not able to eat or drink. But he should have died under natural circumstances than falling off a railway bridge. Tranquilizers ALWAYS lead to increase in tension amongst pachyderms.


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