State government on Wednesday submitted before the Madras High Court that any elephant with disease would not be taken to the rejuvenation camp to be held at Thekkampatti, Mettupalyam Taluk. Gautam Dey, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests made this submission in the form of counter affidavit before the Bench comprising Justices, N.Paul Vasanthakumar and P.Devadass, who were hearing on a public interest litigation filed by S. Jayachandran of The Nilgris.

In the PIL, the petitioner also prayed to direct authorities not to take camp elephants from Mudumalai and Anamalai Tiger Reserves to the elephant rejuvenation camp to be held from December 19. He said in the rejuvenation camps in the earlier years, only temple and mutt elephants were accommodated. However, this year, the authorities are proposing to send even captive elephants. If camp elephants mingled with domesticated animals, they would contract the diseases. Denying averments in the petition, Mr. Dey said, “Any elephant with any kind of disease such as tuberculosis, herpes, foot-and- mouth will not be taken to the camp. Mingling of normal elephants with any kind of diseased is totally not possible.”

He also submitted that the temple elephants and the camp elephants would be kept in separate places during the rejuvenation camp. . The matter will come up for hearing on Thursday.