CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu forest department to file a report of any standard operating procedures (SOPs) to handle and treat injured wild elephants that enter the state forests from neighbouring states.
The high court passed the order on a petition which alleged that the Tamil Nadu forest staff recently chased an injured elephant into Kerala forests. The makhna elephant suffered injuries in its mouth after it bit into an explosive-laden fruit kept by farmers to kill wild boars. The petitioner, however, alleged that the TN forest staff used crackers to chase the elephant to Kerala's side. The elephant had subsequently succumbed to the injuries.
G Arun Prasanna, the Secretary People For Cattle In India, had sought proper medical treatment for the injured elephant. According to him, the injured elephant that was roaming along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu was allegedly driven away by forest officials using crackers and jeeps to the other side of the Kerala border.
He further stated that the lack of a mechanism to monitor the pachyderms and driving them with crackers and vehicles is completely illegal.
"It is the duty of every citizen to protect the environment and improve the natural habitat such as the forests and lakes and to have compassion towards living creatures. The act by the forest department officials clearly shows that they do not have any compassion towards the elephant," he added.
The two-member bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha noted that since the elephant has now died, the prayers relating to treatment for it have lost relevance.
The bench directed the forest department to file a detailed report by November 6 and inform the court of any standard operating procedures (SOPs) to handle and treat injured wild elephants that enter the state forests from nearby states.