: The Thrissur-based Heritage Animal Taskforce (HAT) has registered its protest against the practice of holding elephant parades at temple festivals in violation of laws enacted against such acts.

In a petition to the director of Project Elephant, HAT secretary V.K. Venkatachalam said there had been a rise in incidents where elephants were paraded at various events. Twenty-two elephants were transported from Palakkad and Thrissur to Kottayam on Wednesday to take part in the Thirunakkara pooram without obtaining the required permit from Divisional Forest Officers.

He said there were reports that a calf elephant would be made to participate in the traditional ‘aanavaalpidi' (catching the elephant's tail) ritual at Umayanallur Sree Subramanyaswamy Temple in Kollam. The ritual is scheduled on Sunday. A captive elephant, Koottanad Rajashekaran, was found dead in the house of its custodian in Palakkad on Wednesday. The elephant had not been given rest for the last six months as it was frequently taken to different parts of the State for festivals.

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