Coimbatore: Believe it or not… the real killers of the heavily weighing elephants in Coimbatore are not poachers but polythene carry bags, which are thrown into forest areas.
The Anubavai Sri Subramania Swami temple is located in the hill, which covered by thick forest near Periya Thadagam in Coimbatore. The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department is administrating the temple.
More than 100 devotees are visiting the temple daily. During the weekend, a number of devotees, who visited the temple will be doubled.
Many devotees are carrying Pooja items and the foods in polythene bags during the trekking to the temple hill. After usage of the polythene bags completed, they simply threw them into the forest area.
“Most of the devotees throw polythene packs containing chips with high salt content. Spotted deers, elephants and wild cats may eat these polythene packets due to the salty taste. If they eat polythene bags, they will die within three months,” Siva, environmental activist of Coimbatore.
According to environmentalists, totally 23 elephants have died in the last one year in Coimbatore due to diarrhea, caused by polythene bags consumption. Elephants frequently forage in the hill areas and swallowing plastic bags found near temple premises.
Not every plastic-eating elephant survives. Many elephants are known to have died due to polythene bags which get accumulated in the stomach. It must be a terribly agonising death,” said N.I. Jalaluddin, President, Natural Conservation Society.
The forest and Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments departments’ officials should take measures to prevent devotees from carrying polythene bags during their visit to hill temples, environmentalists said.