Four of the six elephants that were under the custody of the erstwhile royal family of Mysuru, have been shifted to Gujarat.
The elephants which are in transit, left Mysuru late on Tuesday night and will be housed at Elephant Care Centre at Jamnagar. Seetha, Ruby, Gemini and Rajeshwari are being transported in trucks and the Forest Department veterinarians had certified that they were fit to travel.
“We conducted tests and examined the elephants for contagious diseases if any and all tests proved to be negative and hence they were declared fit for travel’’, according to Deputy Conservator of Forests V. Karikalan.
However, the Forest Department was in the dark about the transportation of elephants at night. “We received an email about their transportation and an official went to the palace to check for them and found that only 2 out of 6 remained in the stables,” he said.
The permission was issued by the Chief Wildlife Warden and soon after receiving the permit the elephants were shifted. The journey is expected to take about 4 to 5 days and the convoy of trucks carrying the elephants has speed limits which have to be maintained. Arrangements have to be in place for water and fodder of the elephants with temporary transit camps to stay at night.
These elephants were rescued from Komal Circus almost 20 years ago as were used for entertainment purpose and the Wadiyars offered to take care of them. Mr. Karikalan said documents indicated that these elephants were originally brought from Punjab and Bihar though the current ownership is with Pramoda Devi Wadiyar. Once the elephants reach their destination the ownership will change and will be vested with the Forest Department in Gujarat, he added.