The land of renowned for its pachyderms is having a bit of a situation as at least 41 wild elephants have died in Kerala's forest ranges in the last six months due to various reasons.

However, none of the deaths were reported due to the prevailing drought condition and the lack of food and water in forests, Kerala forest minister K Raju said in a written reply in the Assembly.

The elephants died mainly due to attacks by tigers, inter conflict between jumbos, electrocution and because of other natural causes, he said.  

Of the 41 jumbo deaths in the state, 14 were reported from the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary alone. The sanctuary covers 344.44 sqr km, with four ranges namely Sulthan Bathery, Muthanga, Kurichiat and Tholpetty. The Sulthan Bathery range witnessed the most number of wild elephant deaths with five. 

Detailing various steps taken by the government to ensure there is enough drinking water in forests, the minister said over 1,500 water sources, including check dams and ponds, had been renovated. Various plants, including bamboo and fruit-bearing trees, were planted to provide food for animals in the summer. 

Kerala is reeling under the worst-ever drought in a century. There were reports that wild animals, especially jumbos, are dying due to the intense summer and the scarcity of drinking water in state forests.

(with PTI inputs)