The Forest Department on Saturday found a dead female elephant in the deep forest of Fulchhari Range under Cox's Bazar.
Local people, who gathered in the area to see the body, said that the elephant's baby was repeatedly laying down beside its mother, in a vain attempt to get her attention.
Officials from the divisional forest department, patrol team and Department of Livestock Services have visited the Rajghat beat jungle area after learning about the incident.
Fulchhari Range official Syed Abu Jakaria said, "We suspect that the female elephant has died of old-age complications. Senior officials, including Divisional Forest Officer Touhidul Islam, have visited the area."
Local people said that the mother elephant was running erratically on Saturday morning and then she suddenly laid down. A worker fled the area after noticing her.
He later informed the Rajghat beat official after observing that the elephant had remained motionless for hours. Forest Department officials then arrived at the scene and confirmed the elephant's death.
Several local people have claimed that the elephant had marks similar to bullet wounds on her body and she may have died due to a lack of treatment after being shot by unknown culprits.
"An autopsy has be performed on the elephant's body. We will know the cause of her death after getting the autopsy report," said Divisional Forest Officer Touhidul Islam.