Two elephant calves die in Assam tea garden

Guwahati, Oct 7 (PTI) Two elephant calves have died of suspected poisoning in a Tea Estate near Kaziranga National Park in Assam''s Golaghat district, official sources said today.

The carcass of the calves, a male and female, were found in Diffloo Tea Estate yesterday and forest officials suspected this a case of poisoning as the tongues and eyes of both the animals had turned blue, they said.Pesticides were used inside the tea garden and this could have poisoned the elephants.

The viscera of both the calves had been sent to the forensic laboratory for tests, the sources said.

Estate manager Rajshekhar Dutta, however, 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.