Coimbatore: A 10-year old male elephant, treated for a mouth injury and been starving for some days, died on Friday (July 31) near Mettupalayam in Tamil Nadu in the fourth fatality of pachyderms this month in Coimbatore district, forest department sources said.

The elephant had suffered an injury to its left palate reportedly after a fight with another wild elephant and was found lying in Sundapatti in Nellaimalai reserve forest area recently, they said.

Forest department veterinarians treated the elephant with antibiotics and administered about 30 bottles of glucose, but it died without responding, the sources said. It could not swallow food due to the injury in the mouth and might have starved at least for the last one week, they said, adding the carcass was buried after postmortem.

This is the fourth elephant death this month in the forest areas in Coimbatore district.

On July 3, an eight-year old tusker, found with severe injuries on its legs, died in Sirumugai forest range after six days of treatment.

Earlier, one elephant was shot dead by two farmers while another died of ill health in the Mettupalayam area.

Around 10 pachyderms had died in the district in the last over three months due to various reasons, including poaching, and wildlife enthusiasts have already voiced concern and demanded a probe.