The medical team from Nandankanan reached a little late. The night before, the ailing elephant which was found in Khunapali village forest with an injury on its back and profusely bleeding from trunk had died.
Retired Senior Veterinary Surgeon Dr. P K Ray who led the team to the village on Monday morning admitted that the elephant could have been saved had help reached in time.
Earlier on Saturday, the Divisional Forest Officer, Sambalpur North, B Barla, and his team had tried to make the ailing elephant stand but in vain. The villagers, who had informed the forest officials about the ailing elephant, alleged forest officials’ negligence. Had the forest officials immediately responded to the call for help, the elephant would have walked back into the forest, they added. It has been seen roaming in the forest for more than a month.