MHC orders prohibiting private captivity of elephants in future


Chennai: A petition regarding the upkeeping of temple elephants filed by Elsa Foundation, an animal welfare organisation came up for hearing today in the Madras High Court.

During the last hearing, Madras High Court CJ Sanjib Banerjee and Audikesavalu bench ordered the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to submit an affidavit with profiling of number of elephants in the temple, their age, their sex health condition and number of elephants in Forest department camps and their health condition.

In the affidavit, the Tamil Nadu government submitted that there are 32 elephants in temple captivity and 31 elephants under private captivity and 67 elephants in forest department captivity.

The government also requested the court to grant more time to submit video of elephants as the documenting process is underway.

The petitioner argued that there are discrepancies in the affidavit filed by the state government as there are 86 elephants under the temple and private captivity.

Allowing the request made by the state government, the court adjourned the petition for the next month and passed an interim order prohibiting any private person to have captivity if elephants in near future and also ordered that only the forest department can keep elephants in captivity that too only if the elephants could not survive on its own in the forest.

The court also ordered the state government to file a details on the elephants in the temple, private, and forest department captivity.

The petitioner in his petition has claimed that all the elephants in captivity were acquired illegally against the Wildlife Protection Act.