The Director of Project Elephant (DPE) on Thursday sought an urgent
explanation from the Chief Wildlife Warden regarding the circumstances
that led to the Forest Department issuing an order to capture a tusker
in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
The order follows a petition submitted by V.K. Venkitachalam,
secretary of the Thrissur-based Heritage Animal Task Force.
Mr. Venkitachalam said in his petition that Forest Minister K. Raju
had ordered the capture of the elephant on November 15 without getting
statutory permission from the Union Minister of Environment and
Forests. There was no clear proof to show that the elephant, nicknamed
Bharatan SI, had killed any person in the recent past, Mr.
Venkitachalam said in the petition. He said that the Forest Department
had captured another wild elephant from the Agasthykoodam forest area
on June 6, 2006, after some persons complained that the elephant had
caused damage to their properties.
The animal had been tranquillised and then shifted to a nearby kraal.
However, the elephant was found dead three days later, due to
excessive internal injury, he said.
As per modern methods of warding off elephants from human-inhabited
areas near elephant corridors, capturing the animals after
tranquillising them was not advisable, he said
16 dead in 6 years
As many as 16 elephants had died in the past six years in different
parts of the country as they were captured after tranquillising them,