A mother elephant carrying the carcass of her calf with her trunk roamed tea estates and fringe areas of Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district throughout Friday. A video of the heart-wrenching sight has gone viral on social media, which showed the mother struggling to lift her dead calf with her trunk in Ambari Tea Estate, Jalpaiguri.
In the clip, the mother elephant appeared agitated. At first, she struggled to lift her dead calf. However, seconds into the video, the mother tusker is seen walking with the carcass of the calf, before disappearing into the tea gardens.
According to forest officials, the calf died on Friday morning in Dooars region’s Chunabhati tea garden in Banarhat block. The mother elephant picked up the carcass of the calf with her trunk and meandered from one tea garden to another along with a herd of about 30-35 elephants.
Officers informed that the herd of elephants travelled over 7 kilometres. From Chunabhati, the elephants went to Ambari tea garden, Diana tea garden and Newdooars tea garden before laying the calf’s carcass near a bush at Redbank tea garden.
A number of teams from the state forest department reached the spot, however, till Friday evening they could neither recover the carcass nor steer the grieving mother elephant to the forest. The cause of death is yet to be ascertained but officials said that for now, forest personnel are in the area, keeping a close watch on the situation.
Meanwhile, it to mention that as per World Wildlife Fund, Northern Bengal is one important habitat housing nearly 400 resident elephants. This region contributes to over 20% of the human casualties caused by elephants in the country.