Government mulls amending elephant rules
Another festival season (November-May) is round the corner in the state with the organisers bracing themselves up to vie with each other to make celebrations grander and colourful by parading maximum number of elephants.
But, it seems, the government is still groping in the dark without knowing how to tackle the rising incidents of bloodshed caused by pachyderms going wild.
Chief Wild Conservator B Gopinath told Express that the govt is mulling amending the Kerala Captive Elephant (Management & Maintenance) law before the festival season to check the rising jumbo-related incidents.
“As the rules are often violated by the elephant owners and festival organisers with impunity, the government has decided to amend the law before the current season to ensure that the pachyderms are treated more humanely,” he said.
Experts in the field said framing new laws or amending existing laws will not help the government to check the calamities.
For that, the government should implement the existing laws properly and strictly, they said.
According to a study conducted by the Association for Promotion of Legal Knowledge, New Delhi, and the Centre for Elephant Studies, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, last year, 19 people, including 11 mahouts, were killed by domesticated elephants in the state.
The study has found that 58 per cent of the cases occurred due to provocation of elephants.
According to Marshal C Radhakrishnan, Research Associate, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mannuthy: “The reasons for elephant running amok during festivals could be as simple as a motorbike irritating the animal, lack of rest and food, irritation by drunkards, and people trying to touch the tail and tusk.”
According to the Thrissur DFO, elephant-related incidents may rise this season, as the state faces a dearth of captive elephants to meet the demand.