RAIPUR: A court in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh has sent the owner and a mahout of a female elephant to jail for inflicting cruelty and ill-treatment while the animal was used for entertainment and begging in the streets resulting into its death at Sarangarh.
Mahout Lalmani Gautam has brought the elephant from Tarkeshwar Dubey, a resident of Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) at a monthly charge of Rs 50,000 and engaged it for human entertainment, begging. While in captivity the mahout damaged the eyes turning the tusker blind. This was confirmed after the autopsy of the animal was carried out in the presence of Chhattisgarh forest officials.
“It was the brutal handling of the animal, which was found blind in both eyes. The eyeball structure couldn’t be recognised. It appears the eyes were damaged by some pointed object. The elephant was forced to walk despite noticeable injuries in both forelimbs. Severe deficiency of blood and the failure of kidneys led to a depleted health condition and consequently its death”, said Dr Jai Kishor Jadiya, who submitted the health report of the captive female elephant.
It is believed that the mahouts who are elephant rider, trainer, or keeper damages the eyes as utterly inhuman act to ensure the elephant doesn’t attack or run amok.
The elephant also faced prolonged neglected health care. The forest authorities also traced that the ownership certificate produced by the possessor didn’t match with the deceased tusker since no microchip could be found from the animals' body. The age estimation based on the ear fold suggested that the pachyderm is below 60 years.
“Under the sections of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act the stringent action was taken against the owner and the mahout of the female elephant. Both were produced before the court which ordered to send the both to jail”, said the Sarangarh divisional forest officer Ratan Chouhan.
Following the incident, the wildlife enthusiasts in Chhattisgarh have appealed the UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath to ensure no elephant held in captivity be allowed to go out of his state without the approval of the principal chief wildlife warden.
“It hurts the Hindu sentiments and sad a blind female tusker was killed owing to barbaric and cruel treatment. The UP government should trace out how many such elephants are held in captivity. And they should be taken to Elephant Centre at Yamuna Nagar in Mathura for their proper management and care”, said Nitin Singvi, a wildlife enthusiast who has written to the UP CM and further added that if the situate goes beyond control and no welfare measure can be ensured for such blind animals then “it’s better to seek Euthanasia (the painless killing) instead of subjecting them to cruel treatment daily."