‘Captivity affecting jumbos’ behaviour’ - The New Indian Express

‘Captivity affecting jumbos’ behaviour’

Published: 10th November 2012 10:10 AM

Last Updated: 10th November 2012 10:10 AM

Armed with a survey conducted by Karnataka Forest Department and Compassion Unlimited Plus Action, Suparna Baksi-Ganguly founder trustee of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre argued that captive elephants show high deviation from normal behaviour.

 “Owing to worsening living conditions in circuses and zoos, these elephants show high deviation from normal behaviour. Elephants held captive in temples across the country showed a 63. 7 per cent deviation from normal behaviour”.

 To measure deviation levels the parameters used are the space occupied by the elephant, the exercise it gets, its interaction with humans and other animals and its attempt to merge with the ecosystem.

 The survey that was conducted on 1,200 elephants across 14 states found that while zoo elephants showed a 39.1 per cent deviation, circus elephants showed a 61.3 per cent deviation from normal and healthy behaviour.

 The findings published in the “Report on Captive Elephants and Mahouts” said that elephants in forest camps are not far behind the temple/ circus jumbos as their behaviour bears a resemblance of only 68.1 per cent to that of normal.

 In South India, Kerala has the highest number temple elephants (650), followed by Tamil Nadu (100), Karnataka (37) and Andhra Pradesh (nearly 20).

 Suparna appealed that zoos in the State need to re-decide their priorities in order to destress the pachyderms.

 “Tourist footfall must be controlled in our zoos. The parks needs to regulate its tourism and decrease the number of exhibits so that animals can have more space,” she said.

 She said that captive elephants spend only two hours walking as compared to the 18 hours by wild jumbos.

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