Were elephants at tea garden poisoned?

Guwahati Two elephant calves died of suspected poisoning in a tea estate near Kaziranga National Park in Assam's Golaghat district, officials said on Thursday.

The carcass of the calves, a male and female were found in Diffloo Tea Estate on Wednesday and forest officials suspected this to be a case of poisoning as the tongues and eyes of both the animals had turned blue, they said.

Pesticides were sprayed inside the tea garden and this could have poisoned the elephants.

The viscera of both the calves have been sent to the forensic laboratory for tests, the Estate manager Rajshekhar Dutta said.

However, Dutta denied that the elephants had died due to pesticide poisoning saying "we have been using the pesticide for a long time. If it was a case of pesticide poisoning, elephants who regularly visit our gardens and other cattle would have died earlier but no such cases have been reported."

He said that an enquiry would be conducted to ascertain the cause of the death of the elephants. 
Story First Published: October 07, 2010 17:26 IST

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