In a goof-up, an Incredible India advertising campaign stars an African elephant.

To celebrate the tourism and biodiversity theme of the World Tourism Day on Monday, the Tourism Ministry had taken out a full-page advertisement in leading newspapers with the tagline “Biodiversity: our greatest treasure.” However, among the faux-stamp style pictures of flora, fauna and landscapes, is a photograph of three African tuskers roaming through the savannah.

That too in Africa

“I don't have any problem with an African elephant in a biodiversity advertisement, but probably not for an Indian tourism campaign,” said one of the members of the Elephant Task Force who noted the error. “And it's not an African elephant in the Mysore zoo, but in Africa itself, probably Kenya or Tanzania.”

To make matters worse, the advertisement also includes a drawing — probably a clip-art — of an elephant which also has the large flapping ears and ridged trunk so typical of the African mammal. Its Indian counterpart has smaller ears and a smooth trunk.

Ramesh writes to Selja

When elephant experts pointed out the mistake to Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh, he shot off a letter to Tourism Minister Kumari Selja, saying that “such a bloomer could have been avoided,” according to sources in the Ministry.

While the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity released the advertisement, its officials made it clear that the design was prepared and approved by the Tourism Ministry itself.

Such bloopers are not new, with a recent Indian Railways advertisement showing Delhi in Pakistan.

Wildlife experts allege that several pictures used in Gujarat's promotional literature also uses African lions rather than the animals of the Gir forest.

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