Usually high-tension electric lines are connected to electric
fences thus causing electrocution and instant death in
elephants.  Crude explosives are used for chasing away
elephants and are also baited concealing in ripened
jackfruits causing severe head injury and death, when
eaten accidentally.  The use of pesticides is a new trend.
Carbofuran (Furdan - a carbamate insecticide in granular
form) is commonly used.  Usually it is baited in ripe
pineapples, causing death. During the time of post-mortem
especially after putrefaction of the carcass, this will often
go undetected by the veterinarians.

Last but not the least common method is shotgun fire,
causing multiple injuries to the elephants including
blindness.  These wounds become chronic, suppurative
and leading to death. Urea mixed with molasses is another
method used by farmers. In these cases, during
post-mortem when the stomach is opened ammoniacal
smell is noticed. The presence of urea is also confirmed by
chemical tests.  

Around 60% of adult male autopsies revealed chronic
septic wounds and sinuses on the body.  It is also noticed
that only the adult males are involved in crop raiding and
naturally mortality is reported mostly in this category.

Sex Wise Trend in Mortality
It is seen that mortality in males was 56% and in females
was 44%.

Age Group Wise Mortality
When we consider the age group, 59% death was adults,
16% sub-adults, 6% juveniles and 19% calves.

Sex and Age Group Together  
It is interesting to note that adult male mortality is around
33%.  This is very important when we consider the fact that
sex ratio of adult male to female in the population was 1:40
(Easa, et al., 1996).  Since adult males are primarily
involved in crop raiding, the stress due to conflict cannot
be under estimated on this mortality rate.

Another point is that of calf mortality.  There is an increase
in the calf mortality in the sanctuary and increase in
number of abandoned calves, mostly during the first wet
season. Any relation to the to the herd size, if any is yet be
proved.  Large herd size is ordinarily a measure of the
ecological health (Eltringham, 1977). However in this
context herd size reflects dry conditions prevailing in the
adjoining reserves. Rather, increased congregation is an
obligatory situation.

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