Coimbatore: An ailing female elephant was on Tuesday found dead in Narasipuram forest area on the outskirts of the city, the fifth pachyderm dying due to various causes in the last 15 days in the district.

Officials removed the carcass after separating a calf which was found moving around it, forest department officials said. The elephant was said to be ailing for the last couple of days.

On June 20, a lactating elephant was killed in an accident involving a train, while trying to cross the track near Madukkarai. Two days later, a wild elephant, captured by forest officials, smashed its head on its cage, made of iron beams and wooden longs, while trying to escape from captivity at a camp coming under Anamalai Tiger Reserve in the district.

Environmentalists had blamed the forest department for alleged mishandling of the animal for the death. A 15-year-old elephant, which migrated from nearby Kerala, died on June 25, reportedly after overdose of medicines administered by authorities from that state, since it was ailing for some time. The carcass was found near a tribal hamlet in Periyanaickenpalayam forest range.

Another 15-year-old elephant died on July 3 in the Sirumugai forest range, some 40 km from here, reportedly due to starvation in Itchipaali Reserve forest.