Aug 17, 2012 – MYSORE: An elephant has been shot dead at Bandipur tiger reserve on Friday.

The tusker, aged some 6 years, has been shot at the forest border in Hoskurmala, a tribal hamlet near Sargur in Heggadadevanakote. The incident came to light early in the morning when the field staff were patrolling the area.

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While the elephant has been shot from close range given the nature of the injuries it has sustained, the poaching is ruled out as the killers have fled the scene immediately after the attack. Conservator of forests of Bandipur Kumar Pushkar told TOI the tusker has been shot from county made weapon. It is suspected that the elephant was shot dead in the wee hours, he stated. “It is first such incident in the tiger reserve in recent years,” he said. The elephant is young and its tusks were intact, he said.

An inspection of the site by the officials has indicated that the tusker had died within minutes. She was ran some 200 meters from where it was shot at and had collapsed. It is suspected that the tusker had separated from the herd and wandered in the forested area. It is suspected that it had charged at the attackers, who panicked and fired at it. The bullet has pierced its lungs leading to its death. The bullet has been recovered. The officials said villagers use the country made weapons to tackle boar and elephant menace. It is an illegal weapon. The forest officials have interrogated some in the connection with the case and have filed a case against unknown persons.