Bride-to-be of Armenian Elephant dies in Mysore Zoo in India

The Hindu, India
October 24, 2004


Our Staff Correspondent

Barely days before she was due to fly to Armenia as “India’s
ambassador of goodwill,” Komala, an eight-year-old female elephant
died under mysterious circumstances in Mysore Zoo on Friday.

Komala is the third elephant to die in the zoo in the past couple of
weeks. Her death came at a time when a large number of tourists, who
had arrived in Mysore for the Dasara celebrations, were visiting the

Other instances

A 30-year-old tusker, Ganesha, and a 14-year-old female elephant,
Roopa, died in Mysore Zoo last month, and laboratories tests
confirmed that they were victims of chemical poisoning. A couple of
weeks earlier, a lion-tailed macaque died of poisoning. As at least
three animal deaths have been attributed to poisoning in the past few
weeks, there is suspicion of foul play in Komala’s death.

The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, who was visibly concerned, said
he would direct the Principal Secretary, Forests and Environment, to
visit the zoo and investigate the death of Komala. “It is unfortunate
that animals are dying in Mysore Zoo. Action will be taken against
the guilty,” he told presspersons after offering floral tributes to
Nandi Dhwaja outside the Mysore Palace premises.

Sources in the zoo said Komala had not had food since Thursday
morning. In the afternoon, she seemed to be suffering from dysentery,
and veterinarians provided treatment. But, on Friday afternoon,
Komala breathed her last. A post-mortem was conducted on Friday
evening. A complaint has been lodged at the Nazarbad police station.

After the deaths of the elephants and the macaque, the zoo
authorities had introduced a system to test the food supplied to


Komala had been chosen as India’s gift to Armenia after an elaborate
nationwide search carried out by the Central Zoo Authority recently.

As an ambassador of goodwill, Komala was to fulfil India’s promise to
Armenia to gift a female elephant as a companion for the lone male
Indian elephant housed at the Yerevan Zoo.

Gentle giant

According to the executive director of Mysore Zoo, Manoj Kumar,
Komala had been chosen as she was the gentlest of the gentle giants
short-listed for the trip to Armenia.

“Only animals bred in captivity are included in an exchange
programme,” he added.

Komala had been separated from her parents for the last couple of
weeks to prepare her for life in Armenia.

The Armenian authorities were scheduled to take the elephant on a
special flight.

A special cage was made, and officials from the Forest Department
were preparing to accompany the elephant.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress