The Chennai-based Elephas Maximus Indicus Trust (EMIT), an animal welfare group, has written a letter to the inspector general of wildlife, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) stating that there is a regular systematic pattern of female elephants being killed in south Indian forests.
There is also an immediate need for an official investigation on suppression of facts by both Central and state Forest Departments and there are several suppressed elephant deaths in the country, the letter said.
The recent death of the female elephant in Kerala is just a tip of the iceberg, that too became popular because the local forest officers broke the news. In most of the cases, the foresters hush up the elephant deaths. There is a need for more scientific investigations into the pattern and the solutions should be arrived at the earliest,” Nambiar told DT Next.
“There are cases in TN and Kerala where villagers through constant pestering force the Forest Department to capture the stray elephants and convert them into captive elephants and this process eliminates the gigantic elephants from a landscape,” opined conservation scientist A Kumaraguru of Sathyamangalam Tiger Conservation Foundation.
In 2013, the constant pressure from farmers in Tiruvannamalai forced the foresters to take up operation “malai” translocating six wild elephants from the Eastern Ghats. “I was part of it, it’s a case of operation success for the public, but ecologically unfortunate, he said. Biologist Kumaraguru, a member of state captive elephant management committees, said that there is a need for more undisturbed forest landscape required for elephants that are migratory in nature.
EMIT in its letter also marked to the other wildlife departments and the PMO demanded individual status to endangered wild animals so that the law enforcement is strict. The letter also demanded the Centre to ensure that animal welfare organisations and individual biologists be roped in as co-supervisors along with the Forest Department while dealing with cases related to cruelty against wildlife.