Expert committee to decide on elephant Rivaldo’s release

Call for attention: Rivaldo is being kept in a kraal in the buffer zone of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve   | Photo Credit: M. Sathyamoorthy

An eight-member expert committee set up to decide the fate of elephant, Rivaldo, who has been kept in a kraal (elephant shelter) for treatment, will decide whether the animal can be released into the wild.

K.K. Kaushal, Field Director of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), on Friday said that the committee comprising veterinarians, conservationists and wildlife biologists, will decide on the future treatment of the elephant for its “general health, tackling trunk infirmity and eye problem,” as well as aspects relating to whether it can be released back into the wild.

Mr. Kaushal said that the committee has been given three weeks to submit its recommendations, but added that he was pushing for the report’s submission to be expedited.

Meanwhile, BJP MP and animal rights activist, Maneka Gandhi, has written to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin calling for the elephant’s immediate release. Ms. Gandhi said that there was nothing wrong with the elephant and that he was “healthy” and that the campaign to capture him was started by a person from Bangalore who had recently settled in the tiger reserve.

She also added that the Madras High Court had passed orders to release the animal and to not take him into captivity permanently. The animal rights activist said that the elephant has been in captivity for 50 days, and that the “harmless” elephant, who has not injured or had any problematic interactions with people in the area, is being needlessly subject to training to turn him into a captive elephant.

Ms. Gandhi said that 10,000 people living in the region had signed a petition calling for the animal's immediate release.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 9:19:00 AM |

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