Forest officials recovered a carcass of a three-month old elephant calf from Satbhaiya division of Atal tea plantation under Naxalbari block area in Siliguri today.
After visiting the site and examining circumstantial evidence, forest officials came to a conclusion the elephant calf died owing to ‘infighting’.
“We suspect, since this is mating time for wild elephants, somehow the calf came in the middle of the two,” said Divisional Forest Officer, Kurseong Division, Dr Harikrishnan PJ.
Circumstantial evidence shows the calf was trampled to death, a senior officer said.
“A portion of the carcass was at least three feet under the soil of the drain. The collarbone of the calf was broken and the spine was damaged,” Dr Harikrishnan PJ added.
Notably, tea workers noticed that two elephants, the mother and a sub adult, were restless at the spot centering the carcass, as they came there to resume their duties this morning.
They immediately informed forest officials through proper channels about the incident.
On receiving information, foresters from Bagdogra and Tukuriajhar range rushed to the spot and took more than an hour to drive them, who were guarding the carcass, out of that area and finally recovered it from a drain.
According to locals, a herd of nearly 35 elephants came to this area yesterday.
Forest department has conducted postmortem to maintain official formalities before informing the higher authorities concerned.