Kerala in a fix over ivory issue (Kollam, India)


Dileep V Kumar, The New Indian Express

Date Published

Kenya sent a strong message to elephant poachers as well as ivory
hunters in April last by burning its over 100-tonne stockpile of ivory
in public, which was well-received by the world.

Getting inspired, Karnataka, one of the 16 states having a major
elephant population in the country, last month considered a proposal
to burn its stockpile of ivory. But Kerala is in a fix. Over whether
to set afire its ivory pile or to showcase it by opening an ‘Ivory

The proposal for setting up an Ivory Museum in the capital city of
Thiruvananthapuram has been under consideration of the Forests
Department for the past one year.

It was former forest minister of the State Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan
who first revealed such a plan in June 2015.

He told The Sunday Standard that though the paperworks were completed,
there had not been further progress at the departmental level.
According to him, raw ivory or artifacts made from it, worth around
`1,000 crore, were dumped in the department’s various strongrooms as
well as in the range offices.

“Rather than simply burning them, we could protect them and convert
the items into a museum. The department possesses a range of such
items,” said Radhakrishnan.