DEHRADUN: Wildlife Institute of India is collecting DNA of domesticated elephants across India so that Adhaar like Unique Identity Number (UIN) could be allocated to them to protect them from abuse, poaching, and other atrocities
Dhananjai Mohan, director of WII said, "The data is being collected after which further process will be done."
India has total 2,454 domesticated elephants out of which around 1,000 are in Assam followed by Kerala with over 500 and Tamil Nadu with 300 pachyderms.
The exercise is being conducted under 'Project Elephant' to allocate unique identification numbers to domesticated elephants across India.
Out of total 2,454 jumbos, 560 are with forest departments of the respective states, 1,809 are in private custody and 85 are in zoos.
Out of those in private custody 1,687 belong to individuals while the rest are with circuses and religious institutions.
Last year, Uttarakhand high court had banned the practice of using red chilies and chilly bombs to ward off elephants off their tracks.
Public interest litigation was filed by a Noida based non-government organization 'Independent Medical Initiative Society'.
The petition alleged that the forest department, instead of controlling the human activities in the road passing through these elephant corridors is trying to control their movement elephants using cruel means such as feeding chili powder-filled flour balls to the wild elephants, putting chili power-filled bags on the edge of the road and by firing shots and burning firecrackers to keep them away from the road passing through the elephant corridor.