LUCKNOW: The forest department has rescued an elephant from domesticity and arrested its mahaut. However, since the man who owned the pachyderm is still on the run, the department has no proof if the animal’s tusks were sawn off at all. For that, it needs to recover the missing incisors, if any.
The department received a tip off from locals against against a man in Seemayee village, Ambedkarnagar, for keeping an elephant confined and sawing off its tusks. But on reaching the spot on Sunday, the department could only find the animal with 1.5ft-long tusks. The man who owned the elephant had fled but an FIR was registered against him. “The elephant has been rescued. The mahaut is in custody too,” said principal chief conservator of forest (Wildlife), UP, Umendra Sharma.
To determine whether the tusk had been sawn or not, the cut portion would have to be recovered. “A portion of the tusk might have been removed,” said DFO, Ambedkarnagar, Ashok Shukla.
Elephant is a critically endangered animal and is protected under Schedule (I) of the Indian Wildlife Act. Domesticating it is a crime as big as illegal ivory trade. There is a provision of three to seven years’ imprisonment and Rs 10,000 fine for keeping it in captivity. The rescued elephant, at present, is being looked after by the department.The court would decide on its rehabilitation.