Alarming Rise in Elephant Deaths in the State (India)


By Dhinesh Kallunga, The New Indian Express

Date Published

THRISSUR: Kerala, the Gods own country, is fast becoming a burial ground for domestic elephants, with as many as 453  pachyderms dying in the state in the past seven years. Though old age is the primary cause of elephant deaths in the state many of them have died of torture-related illness much before their average life expectancy. 

According to statistics available with the Heritage Animal Task Force, as many as 12 elephants died so far this year.  In 2013, a total of 36 elephants died of various causes, which vary from torture to diseases and age-related illnesses. 

In 2012 and 2011, the number of elephants died in the state was 96 and 94, respectively. In 2010, 79 elephants died. The numbers for 2009 and 2008 are 72 and 64, respectively. “In short, a total of 453 elephants died in the state since 2007,” said Heritage Animal Task Force secretary V K Venkitachalam.

Additional Principal Conservator of Forests (Bio-diversity Cell) O P Kaler said that  only 80 elephants died during that period.