Jumbos are suffering in private shelters: Animal rights activist
An animal rights campaigner has urged the Centre to conduct a high-level enquiry into the alleged unlawful methods used to keep elephants in private shelters in the state.
In a letter to the Director, Project Elephant under the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), Heritage Animal Taskforce, a Thrissur-based outfit, alleged that elephants, kept in captivity in such unauthorised shelters, were suffering from various ailments.
It also enclosed a photograph of a baby elephant named "Pinchu", which lay on the ground due to various diseases, in one such private shelter in the state. "It is high time the central government constituted a high-level inquiry committee to deal with various ailments of elephants in captivity at unauthorised private shelters," Secretary of Heritage Animal Task Force, V K Venkitachalam said in the letter.
He claimed that over 560 jumbos were kept in captivity at unauthorised shelters across the state without having the mandatory sheds.
The state government has no statutory facility to inquire into the health matters of these elephants, kept in captivity, in violation of the Elephants Preservation Act, he mentioned in the letter.
"Unless the Centre initiates urgent action in this regard, more elephants in captivity will die under suspicious circumstances at various places in Kerala during the monsoon season," the activist added.
A copy of the letter was also sent to the Secretary, Animal Welfare Board of India, Chennai, state's Chief Wildlife Warden and state police chief.