Indian elephants get scant regard - GulfToday

Indian elephants get scant regard

Elephants in India

A forest official shoots a tranquilizer dart at a wild elephant in a street in Siliguri, West Bengal, India. File/Reuters

Though elephants, be they wild and captive, are classified as a protected species in India, there is scant respect shown to the animal. Most captive elephants, especially the young ones, are often kept chained or beaten and bear lifelong physical and emotional scars. In light of this, Kerala government’s plan to house pachyderms adequately is a welcome relief (“Kerala to have retirement home for jumbos,” June 24, Gulf Today).

In the news these days is the Assam government’s plan to shuttle four elephants, via a perilous train journey of more 3000 kms, to Amedabad for a rath yatra ritual at the Jagannath Temple. Of course the move has angered wildlife and animal rights activists who have pointed out that with the ongoing heatwave the journey could be dangerous for the animals and may even kill them. It is brazenly cruel to subject juvenile elephants to such an ordeal. I hope the decision is reversed.

Going back to the Kerala’s programme, it is refreshing to hear that the jumbos will have a ‘world class’ home where they will be tended to with love and care. Though it will take a while for the project to get going, being an animal lover, I couldn’t ask for more. Hope other states emulate Kerala government’s animal-friendly attitude.

Mariam Sreedharan
By email

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