Elephants to be shifted to natural habitats from zoos

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An elephant in the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam. —
An elephant in the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam. —

Nivedita Ganguly

The CZA’s order states that jumbos are banned from zoos

VISAKHAPATNAM: Elephants may soon vanish from zoos, once operational guidelines are issued by the State Government following the directive by Central Zoo Authority to rehabilitate captive elephants from zoos and circuses in the country to their natural habitat.

The CZA’s order stated that elephants were banned from zoo collections throughout the country with immediate effect. All captive elephants in zoos should be rehabilitated in elephant camps, rehabilitation camps or facilities available with the forest department at national parks, wildlife sanctuaries or tiger reserves for departmental use. The CZA ruling has found that the housing of elephants in zoos causes trauma to the animals as they need larger space to move around.

“We are yet to receive any operational guidelines from the State Government,” zoo curator Rahul Pandey told The Hindu.

The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Vizag has three elephants. “Space provided in the zoos is not sufficient for a big animal like elephant. There are very few zoos in the country which have adequate space for free movement of elephants.

As a result, they are kept chained for long hours, causing distress to the animals,” he said. Moreover, such captive elephants in zoos hardly breed. Officials feel that the biological needs of the animal are not fulfilled.

Elephants would be relocated from the zoo as soon as the guidelines by the State Government are issued. And tourists and wildlife enthusiasts would be able to watch the jumbos only in their natural habitats in sanctuaries.



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