Expressing displeasure over the use of elephants at temples, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday sought a report on the health condition of Masini, the Samayapuram temple elephant, currently undergoing treatment at the Thanjavur Veterinary Hospital.
Hearing the plea which sought a direction to restore Masini to her natural habitat, a Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and N. Sathish Kumar sought the report from the dean of the Veterinary College and Research Institute at Thanjavur.
The petitioner, R. Antony Clement Rubin of Chennai, had filed the PIL petition, complaining that Masini suffered behavioural changes after she was moved to the temple.
The decision to move Masini from the camp to the temple had impacted the elephant. Masini, who was living life at her natural habitat, was denied the freedom she enjoyed at the camp. She was being chained at the temple premises and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, he said.
Masini, in one of her violent episodes, trampled her mahout to death at the temple premises in Tiruchi on May 25, he said. He added that following the incident, even her physical health had also deteriorated.
He said that in 2007, Masini, a three-year-old elephant then, was rescued from the Kargudi range of Mudumalai forest by Forest Department officials, after she was abandoned by her mother and herd.
Masini was brought to the Theppakadu camp, where she adapted to life well and developed a bond with the other elephants at the camp. He said that if Masini is restored to her natural habitat at Theppakadu camp, her health would progress effectively. The case was has been adjourned to October 29.