This refers to the photo feature (some Tamil Nadu editions, Aug.31) with the title “Freedom lost.” The last sentence, that quoted Mr. G. Janardhanan, president, Public Awareness Association of Udhagamandalam, that “the move to tame the wild animals amounted to a violation of wildlife rules” may create a wrong impression. As a former additional principal chief conservator of forests, I have this to say. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 or the rules framed under the Act do not totally prohibit the capturing of any wild animal or its taming. This is allowed under certain circumstances. This specific instance of translocating the elephants — captured at Tiruvannamalai and then sent to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve — and domesticating them is governed by Section 11 of the Act. As provided in the proviso 2 to clause (a) of subsection 1 of Section 11 of the Act, the chief wildlife warden can issue an order to keep the captured animals in captivity if he is satisfied that such a captured animal cannot be rehabilitated in the wild and records the reasons in writing for coming to such a decision.
I am sure that in this instance too, the chief wildlife warden would have followed the provisions of the Wildlife Act.