Dr Sreedhar Vijayakrishnan, a scientist and behavioural ecologist on elephants, who had worked along with Thanneerkomban until 2020 under the Karnataka forest department, told TNIE that the tusker was known to be very docile.
He said the elephant was released into Bandipur as it was not a problematic animal, one that avoided human habitats.
Currently working for the welfare of the elephants in Sri Lanka, Sreedhar said Thanneerkomban had wandered into Mananthavady in a bid to find a potential habitat. “It had wandering instincts as he was a young elephant who had exploratory tendencies,” said Sreedhar.
Forest Minister A K Saseendran said a scientific investigation will be conducted by an expert team to probe whether there were any lapses.
“We received the information that the elephant, which was brought from Mananthavady to Bandipur, died while it was about to undergo an expert examination. A five-member expert committee, including an IFS officer, veterinary doctor, NGO representative, legal expert and DFO flying squad, has been appointed to probe whether there were any lapses in the incident,” the minister said.