When on May 13 the lightning took the lives of 18 Elephants atop the Bamuni hills in Nagaon district, Guwahati, Assam the death of the huge animal was shocking as for the past 20 years there had never been any case under which such huge numbered death is noticed in Assam.
According to the reports, 18 elephants were found dead atop the Bamuni hills in Kandali. Bamuni hills are Reserved Forests falling under the Forest Department’s Kathia Toli range. The cause of their death was being confused between the lightning that happened the previous day and certain man-animal conflicts.
As per the reports of The Hindu, the incident came to light when Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam, M.K Yadav asserted “The local staff said 18 elephants died and lightning is most likely the cause.” He further added “There have been cases of lightning striking animals down. Lightning claimed 5 elephants in West Bengal some time ago, but this is huge.”
As per the forensic reports of the dead elephants, conducted by the state government, the lightning cause was found to be the sole reason for the death of innocent animals.
The histopathology reports prepared by the Pathology Department of Veterinary Science College, Assam Agriculture University mentioned, “Lesions are suggestive of high voltage electrical burn injury.”
Though there were suspects who ruled out ‘poisoning’ as a probable cause of death. Along with the forensic reports, the probable cause was also taken into account to know the exact event.
Vasanthan, a Divisional Forest officer said “We received a report of the histopathology tests conducted by the department of pathology, College of Veterinary Science, Assam agriculture university (AAU), on Sunday. This more or less confirms lightning as the cause of the death of the elephants.”
The histopathology tests examined tissues and skin to know the exact cause of death. Professor Tamuli of AAU claimed, “We examined the tissues and other materials provided by the forest department and found desquamation of the keratinized layer (peeling off the outer layer of the skin).”
The laboratory reports read “The tissue sections of skin from various locations reveal desquamation of keratinized layer distortion and separation of intra-epidermal tissues, the disintegration of cellular details and architecture resulting in homogenous eosinophilic and basophilic areas.”
The probable cause of ‘poisoning’ the animal was found null as experts’ reports to UNI said “No evidence of poisoning has been found in the carcass of the 18 wild elephants who were found dead atop a hill in Assam on May 13.”
[author title=”Shreya Gohel” image=”http://localhost/gc2/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/20210127_014031.jpg”]Intern, Goa Chronicle
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