PETA moves HC to free temple jumbo

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has moved the Madras High Court with a plea to quash an administrative order issued by Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on July 16 to bring back 30-year-old elephant Lakshmi from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra campus at Kurumbapet to the Manakula Vinayagar temple.

The organisation also sought for a consequential direction to rehabilitate the pachyderm by sending her to a sanctuary or a rehabilitation centre, where she could live unchained and receive much needed veterinary care.

In its affidavit, PETA stated that the Manakula Vinayagar Devasthanam had purchased Lakshmi from a person named K.P. Chako for Rs. 4.6 lakh in 1997.

In 2011, it obtained permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden to keep the animal in captivity on the temple premises.

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