Kerala

Cruelty to elephants goes unchecked

Inflicting wounds:The Çheriya Kolu and Ankush used for controlling captive elephants.

Inflicting wounds:The Çheriya Kolu and Ankush used for controlling captive elephants.

Seven captive elephants died in the State in the last four months alone owing to starvation, torture and heatstroke, the Thrissur-based Heritage Animal Task Force has alleged.

In the last of such incidents, elephant Vayalassery Kalidasan, 38, died at Nattika, according to V.K. Venkitachalam, secretary of the Animal Task Force. “The elephant, found dead at a private land of an elephant contractor at Edamuttam, was subjected to various kinds of torture, including festival parading under scorching sun and use of Ankush (hook), a banned weapon,” he points out. Though the elephant owners and festival organisers are reiterating their claim that Ankush had not been used in the State, any person who visit festivals, including Thrissur Pooram, can witness the unlawful use of Ankush by mahouts, say animal activists.

“The mahouts generally use two types of weapons. One is a lean stick having no metal part, known as Çheriya Kolu in local parlance, and the other is a heavy stick (Anathotti or Ankush), with three-fourth of it made of wood and the rest with metal.

At the end of the metal part is a metal hook, which is used for inflicting wounds on sensitive parts of the elephants’ body such as eyes, ears, lower part of legs and the area near the nails to make them obedient,” Mr. Venkitachalam noted. Such wounds were leading to death of the elephants, most of them at very young age, he said.

The other elephants died this year are: Indrajith, 21, at Konni; Chirakkal Rajasekharan, 26, near Amala Cancer Institute, Thrissur; Sathyanarayanan, 50, and Keshavankutty, 48, both of Guruvayur Devaswom; Unnikrishnan, 49, at Erumely; and Peroor Krishnan, 20.

Probe ordered

The Director of Project Elephant, MoEF, has asked the Chief Wild Life Warden (Kerala) to inquire into the complaint of the Heritage Animal Task Force about the death of seven captive elephants in Kerala.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 6:56:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cruelty-to-elephants-goes-unchecked/article8553786.ece