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Latehar: Sick and limping tusker at Balumath range on road to recovery

The animal is eating and pooping which is indicative of its normal digestive system. 

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The sub-adult tusker who was sick and limping over the last two weeks in the Balumath range of forest in Latehar district is now on road to recovery. The animal is eating and pooping which is indicative of its normal digestive system. 

The Bokaro thermal-based senior touring veterinary officer (TVO) Dr Ajay Kumar was rushed to the Balumath jungles on Wednesday, July 20 by the director of the animal husbandry Shashi Prakash Jha said, “I saw that limping tusker. It is making a spectacular recovery. We hope it will be able to tide over its health issue quite soon.”

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“I found a total of 28 faecal bowls also called dung or poop of elephant on Wednesday. It is a sign of a good digestive system. The tusker is eating and so it is pooping. It is a very encouraging sign for any sick jumbo” added Dr Ajay. 

A healthy elephant can discharge a total of 100 kgs of poop per day and its rate of defecation varies from 12 to 15 times a day.  In one year, a healthy elephant gives 40 tons of dung. 

The senior touring veterinary officer had a word of praise for the wildlife-trained doctor R Jojo and his team which was treating the sick tusker. 

“The line of treatment is correct except that I thought it would be better to add a pain killer and so I added it to the list of medicines being given to this tusker through man-made feed and jack fruit laced with the higher antibiotics,” told Dr Ajay. 

About the feed, Dr Ajay said if we add rich protein to its feed then this tusker will gain vigour and vitality faster.  He suggested its feed be supplemented with cucumber, pumpkin, water-soaked chana and jaggery. The animal has Carbohydrates but is lacking protein opined Dr Ajay. 

About its sickness and limping, the senior touring veterinary officer said as of now there is no sign or mark of any external injury on its body. There is no cut, no wound and no oozing of fluid from any of the orifices of the body of the tusker. The problem is all internal. 

Dr Ajay said one of the hind legs of this tusker is raw either it has a problem with ligament or bone or joint rendering it to limping. Sources said the tusker had first imposed a self-isolation confining itself to a radius of just one and a half kilometres except for drinking water that is used to step out of its cocoon for around 2 kilometres more. 

Sr touring veterinary officer Dr Ajay Kumar having discussions with personnel regarding the health of the limping tusker

Now, the tusker has enlarged its area of movement from one and a half kilometres to nearly 4 kilometres and enjoys playing in the water in a freshly dug-up water body also. 

Sources said the limping of the tusker had made every top forest and wildlife management officers sprint towards Balumath. 

In the jungles of Balumath, descended on one single day Jharkhand’s principal chief conservator of forest and chief wildlife warden Ashish Rawat,  regional chief conservator of forest Palamu J P Keshri, conservator of forest Palamu Kumar Ashish, DFO Latehar Roushan Kumar and Shashi Shekhar of the regional office of MoEFCC Ranchi all for the sick and limping tusker about which fears were expressed that it would not live any longer as it has been left to fend for itself. 

Notably, the incident is not in the tiger reserve Palamu but a non-tiger reserve area too close to the jungles of Chatra.

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