Thiruvananthapuram

Elephant parade rules flouted: forum

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Captive elephants turn restive at Thrikkunnapuzha, Pandalam temples

Elephant lovers have alleged gross official indifference towards enforcing the rules pertaining to the parading of elephants in different parts of Kerala.

The Heritage Animal Task Force (HATF) has strongly criticised the district authorities in Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha for their alleged inaction over the recent violation of rules in parading captive elephants at two temples in Pandalam and Thrikkunnappuzha.

An elephant calf, Aromal, attacked its mahout at the Dharma Sastha temple at Thrikunnappuzha, Alappuzha, on Tuesday.

Another captive elephant, Kollam Rajasekharan, which was brought to the Mahadevar Temple at Pandalam, ran amok the same day.

Veterinarians from Kollam tranquilised the violent pachyderm later.

In a letter to the Animal Welfare Board of India, and the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, HATF secretary V.K. Venkitachalam alleged that in both the cases, the elephants were taken to the festival ground without a comprehensive scientific verification of their behaviour.

Aromal had no experience in standing or walking with other elephants at festivals.

Mr. Venkitachalam alleged that the forest department had not given permission to the contractors to move the elephants outside their home district.

11 persons killed

He said 11 persons, six mahouts and a veterinary officer, had been killed by elephants in musth in the past one year. Three mahouts had committed suicide due to the stress of managing elephants in musth .

The tragic incidents at festivals underscored the grave need to implement the IUCN checklist for the assessment of captive elephants in Kerala without delay, he said.

Criminal proceedings

Mr. Venkitachalam further said criminal proceedings should be initiated against the owners and contractors of elephants, as well as the festival organisers at Pandalam and Thrikkunnappuzha for violating the Elephant Parade Rules.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:37:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/elephant-parade-rules-flouted-forum/article7947511.ece

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