Karnataka

Four palace jumbos may be shifted to Gujarat temple

Six female elephants – Seetha, Ruby, Gemini, Rajeshwari, Chanchala and Preethi – were reportedly rescued from a circus many years ago. They were given to the Musuru royal family following an offer to take care of them.   | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

The Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF), Mysuru, has asked the Deputy Conservator of Forest (Mysuru – Wildlife) to certify the health condition of four palace elephants that are in the custody of erstwhile Mysuru royal family which has proposed to shift them to Gujarat.

DCF K. Karikalan has been told to check the health status of the four elephants out of six, which have been identified for shifting to a temple in Gujarat, and submit a status report to him.

The six female palace elephants – Seetha, Ruby, Gemini, Rajeshwari, Chanchala and Preethi – were reportedly rescued from a circus many years ago and were given to the royal family as it volunteered to take care of them. Some of them were used for “elephant safari” within the palace premises for tourists visiting the palace.

The consent of the Chief Wildlife Wardens of Karnataka and Gujarat are a must to transport the elephants as per the rules. The jumbos are said to be aged between 42 and 50, and were handed over to the palace when Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar was alive.

Sources told The Hindu that Pramoda Devi Wadiyar had written to the senior Forest officials expressing the family’s wish to hand over the four elephants to a temple in Gujarat that had come forward to take care of them. Accordingly, the DCF has been told to submit a fitness report of the four jumbos – Seetha, Ruby, Gemini and Rajeshwari.

Mr. Karikalan told The Hindu that he had received instructions from the CCF for certifying the four elephants based on their health status. “I have told the respective RFO and veterinarian to follow protocols and check their health condition. Thereafter, I will submit a report to the CCF who is expected to communicate the same to the PCCF Wildlife for a decision,” he said.

If the Chief Wildlife Warden grants permission for transporting the animals based on the DCF’s report, the CCF and the DCF would once again be told to make arrangements for shifting the animals. However, the cost of transportation and other expenses have to be borne by the caretakers or those who are receiving the jumbos. The DCF is expected to submit his report this week.

 

If the elephants are handed over to the Forest Department, they would be housed in the department’s elephant camps but the cost incurred on their maintenance has to be borne by the respective caretakers since the camps have many elephants and their numbers also increase almost every year following the capture of wild elephants during conflict situations, the sources add.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 4:25:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/four-palace-jumbos-may-be-shifted-to-gujarat-temple/article36593108.ece

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