Two elephants were found dead in Coimbatore, one due to gunshot wounds near Kandiyur and the other following suspected ill-health while the carcass of another jumbo was found in nearby Nilgiris, forest department officials said on Thursday.
Two brothers, taken into custody for questioning in connection with the Kandiyur case, were arrested for shooting the elephant to death in their farm in Mettupalayam, about 45 km from Coimbatore, they said.
The 25-year-old female elephant was found dead, bleeding from the left ear.
Post-mortem revealed that the elephant was shot dead, as a sharp edged metal piece was found pierced in its brain, through the left ear, the officials said.
Further investigations led to the arrest of the two brothers, owning the farm.
They are said to have confessed that they shot the elephant, which was entering the land and destroying the produce, according to the officials.
Forest officials were also informed about the death of another female elephant at Sirumugai, some 20 km away.
The 20-year-old elephant was said to be unwell. The real cause of death will be known after autopsy, they added.