Urgent Intervention Required to Stop the Order to capture a Wild Elephant in Wayanad
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Dear Sirs and Madam,
It has come to my notice that the Chief Wildlife Warden, under pressure from the local public and MLA of Wadakkanad in the Kurichiyad Range of Wayanad, will be issuing orders to capture or shoot a few wild elephants who have allegedly been raiding crops in the area.
Request your kind intervention to prevent this from happening and resort to darting, and relocation of the animals. Please do not order their capture and relegate them to a life of captivity.
In the few months, the Kerala Forest Department, caught not one, but three giant tuskers in various locations in the state, and is busy "training" them in order to convert these wild creatures to obedient slave elephants.
Since 1971, capturing of elephants in the wild has been forbidden - by law, and is a punishable offence. The Kerala Forest Dept has also stopped capturing and training elephants for the purpose of sale since 1984. However, in 2006, the Forest Dept shocked everyone by going after a perfectly healthy male tusker in the Agasthya Vanam division of Trivandrum district. This elephant, dubbed "Kolakolli", was darted, captured and locked up in a cramped Kraal. The reasons cited were many, the most prominent being the tussle between the tusker and local farmers. The elephant was tortured and brutalized and succumbed to the injuries inflicted on him by the "trainers" right there in his training kraal. A most unnecessary death.
In November of 2014, a female and her male calf were captured, under the pretext of administering some medical treatments, using a tranquilizer gun to immobilize them. The mother and calf were taken to the Konni Elephant Training Camp, in Pathanamthitta district. The mother died, succumbing to the brutal punishments meted out to her, just days after capture. It is clear as day that their target was her boy calf and their intentions were far from honourable. It is also a noticeable, bizarre coincidence that many "abandoned" or "lost" babies are "found" and "rescued" by the Forest Department personnel, turning up at regular intervals, in the forests through out Kerala. All these are mostly male, and in excellent health and have the desired features prescribed for temple elephants. These gorgeous, healthy, rescued elephant calves end up in any one of these Forest Camps at Konni, Kodanad, Kottoor or Muthanga. This is happening even today!
They seem to have gotten bolder and shifted focus from male calves to fully grown tuskers! Recently, three male tuskers, with all the specified attributes of height, looks, tusks and demeanour, etc., were captured by the Kerala Forest Department under the excuse that they were (all three) crop raiders and rogue elephants. These have been locked up in dingy kraals, deprived of basic food and water and rest, with no space to move around, being denied every freedom that a wild elephant is entitled to by Nature. They have languished here in these kraals, being tortured and brutalized with the intentuon to "train" them and put them to work in the forest dept camps. On Nov 22, 2016, a huge tusker, called "Kalloor Komban"(for identification purposes)aged approximately 25 years, was captured in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. On May 12, 2017, another majestic tusker, "Chullikomban"(henceforth known as "Shiva"), was captured from Kottiyoor, in the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, as he had strayed into human habitation and was posing a grave threat to the villagers living there. And on May 30th, 2017, in Attappadi, in the Agali Forest Range, another tusker, "Peelandi"(Now known as Chandrashekharan )was captured for the same reasons as Chullikomban. This elephant Peelandi was darted, and forced into a tiny uncomfortable, narrow Kraal with the help of "kumki" or trainer elephants. Here his formal training has started - his initiation into a hard, sad life of terror and pain and lifelong slavery.
Request you to kindly not issue the orders and use more humane and scientific methods to relocate them, help the local populace to build trenches and so on.
Chitra Iyer(Founder Trustee-SEW)
Rajeev N Kurup(Secretary-SEW)
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