THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Heritage Animal Task Force has appealed to the Prime Minister to order a high-level enquiry into the alleged premature death of seven captive elephants in Kerala since January this year.
In its letter to Narendra Modi, the Thrissur-based animal rights outfit requested that a high-level enquiry be ordered into the "intentional torture" of elephants in the state.
It alleged that these jumbos died due to mismanagement and unethical practises of elephant contractors, Task Force secretary V K Venkatachalam said.
With the death of 'Konark Ganapathi', a 40-year-old jumbo near Kunnamkulam in Thrissur district yesterday, the total number of captive elephants which died in Kerala has risen to seven so far this year, the outfit said.
Two captive elephants had died in Thiruvananthapuram district in January and four in Thrissur earlier during the June-September period, Venkatachalam said.
"All these elephants were young and healthy and below the age of 45," he said in a recent letter sent to the Centre, seeking their intervention into the alleged torture of captive elephants in the state.
The outfit alleged that though 'musth' is common among elephants between November to April, many elephant contractors, with the help of veterinarians, provide drugs to the pachyderms to suppress their musth during this period to use them for festivals and other money spinning purposes.
"This unethical practise of giving medicines to control and induce musth causes various types of physical and mental disorders among jumbos," it said.
Banned weapons like 'mullu changala' (sharp chains) and sharp edged iron poles are still used in the state to bring elephants under control, it said.