DPE seeks explanation on order to capture elephant

Updated - December 02, 2016 04:15 pm IST

Published - November 18, 2016 12:00 am IST - KALPETTA:

The Director of Project Elephant (DPE) on Thursday sought an urgent explanation from the Chief Wildlife Warden regarding the circumstances that led to the Forest Department issuing an order to capture a tusker in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

The order follows a petition submitted by V.K. Venkitachalam, secretary of the Thrissur-based Heritage Animal Task Force.

Mr. Venkitachalam said in his petition that Forest Minister K. Raju had ordered the capture of the elephant on November 15 without getting statutory permission from the Union Minister of Environment and Forests. There was no clear proof to show that the elephant, nicknamed Bharatan SI, had killed any person in the recent past, Mr. Venkitachalam said in the petition. He said that the Forest Department had captured another wild elephant from the Agasthykoodam forest area on June 6, 2006, after some persons complained that the elephant had caused damage to their properties.

The animal had been tranquillised and then shifted to a nearby kraal. However, the elephant was found dead three days later, due to excessive internal injury, he said.

As per modern methods of warding off elephants from human-inhabited areas near elephant corridors, capturing the animals after tranquillising them was not advisable, he said

16 dead in 6 years

As many as 16 elephants had died in the past six years in different parts of the country as they were captured after tranquillising them, he added.

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