Karnataka

World Elephant Day: Focus on conservation and welfare

The Bannerghatta Biological Park has acknowledged the contribution of mahouts and their families in the welfare of elephants.  

World Elephant Day — a day dedicated to the largest mammal on land, was commemorated by different organisations in different ways on Wednesday.

According to Forest Department estimates, there are around 28,000 elephants in India with around 25% of them in Karnataka, and plans and programmes have been put in place to arrest their poaching and killing. Among them is the declaration of the Mysuru and Dandeli elephant reserves.

A Forest Department release also said that steps are being undertaken to rid areas of lantana and eupatorium as they are preventing the growth of grass for elephants to feed on and establish barricades to prevent man-elephant conflicts, while measures have been taken to establish a cell to study forest fire prevention.

Elephant tourism

Some other organisations highlighted the ills of elephant tourism to commemorate the day, terming the few moments of fun on an elephant’s back for a tourist is “a lifetime of abuse for the elephant.” A release from Wildlife SOS said tourists visiting India have now started seeing through the dark side of elephant rides and no longer want this on their travel itinerary. They prefer instead to visit wildlife sanctuaries to watch elephants in the wild or visit humane elephant care centres.

The city’s Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) chose to acknowledge the contribution of mahouts and their families in the welfare of elephants. Elephant calves at the Bannerghatta zoo were given multiple feeding enrichment to increase foraging time and encourage natural behaviour. A release said the enrichment included two fire hose balls filled grass along with treats such as carrot, sweet potato, banana, watermelon, sugarcane, and jaggery. A fire hose was tied with multiple food items and tied to a tree to encourage animal to use its trunk to grab food from height. Display of posters and touch table made with elephant dung were put up to explain their role in maintaining a balance in the ecosystem. BBP is organising a drawing and elocution contest and entries can be sent to educationbbp@gmail.com.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 7:17:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/world-elephant-day-focus-on-conservation-and-welfare/article32338997.ece

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