Kerala

Ivory stock to be moved to high-security treasure chest

Picture for representation.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Ivory weighing over 10 tonne in possession of the Kerala Forest Department will be shifted to a high-security centre shortly.

Besides ivory, around 200 kg of sandal oil, seized by the department officials from the illicit sandal oil distilling units earlier, will also be moved to the treasure chest that has come up on the campus of the State Forest Head Quarters.

The State Board for Wildlife had declined permission twice to destroy the ivory stock in Kerala, forcing the department to set up the new facility. A proposal to set up an ivory museum too failed to find favour with the authorities. Incidentally, the Forest department in some other States including Assam had destroyed the Rhino and elephant ivory in its possession recently.

The ivory and sandal oil will be stored in the strong-room, which has security features matching the currency chest of the Reserve Bank of India, said P. K. Kesavan, the Head of Forest Force, Kerala.

The ivory of wild elephants that die of natural causes and the ones seized from wildlife offenders add to the stock. These days, the State Treasury officials are reluctant to accept ivory to be stored in their strong rooms as its a pace consuming affair, said Mr. Kesavan.

The ever-growing stock of ivory has been a cause of perennial worry for the Forest department. There were instances when ivory stored in the strong room of the department was stolen. Ivory involved in wildlife crimes will be kept in the respective forest Range Offices. Later, it will be shifted to Forest head quarters with the permission of courts, said another forest official.

Ivory government property

All wild animals and its meat and trophy including ivory are considered government property under the Wildlife (Protection) Act. The value of ivory cannot be fixed as its trade is banned in the country. Only those persons who inherit an elephant and have its ownership certificate, can keep its ivory once the animal is dead. Those inheriting such a trophy shall make a declaration regarding the inheritance to the Chief Wildlife Warden of the State, notes the Act.


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 11:36:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ivory-stock-to-be-moved-to-high-security-treasure-chest/article36625356.ece

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