Elephants turn restless; rights group blames poor upkeep

Monday, Dec 8, 2014,22:22 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Five incidents of captive elephants turning restless and running amok were reported in a single day in Kerala, even as animal rights activists blamed poor upkeep as the reason for such occurrences. Five elephants ran amok in Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode and Kollam districts on Saturday triggering panic among people, animal rights campaigners complained.
Factors like lack of proper maintenance by their owners and overwork and lack of rest are believed to have turned them restless, Heritage Animal Task Force, a statebased animal rights outfit, said. Two elephants ran amok near Kunnamkulam busstand in Thrissur district while they were being forced to board a truck to transport them to their owners after an elephant procession which lasted day and night.
Another elephant, named Prasad, created panic for about six hours at Punnasery in Kozhikode district on Saturday which resulted in serious injuries to its mahout. The elephant also suffered injuries all over its body as it dashed against electric posts and trees, the Task Force said. Another jumbo, ‘Chathappuram Babu’, turned violent at Kalpathy in Palakkad creating anxious moments for five hours the same day.
The elephant uprooted a palm tree and threw it away which landed on a high power electric line, Task Force secretary V K Venkitachalam said. Another elephant also caused tension at a temple in Kollam district, he added. The animal rights group has sent a letter to B S Corry, the state Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Head of Forest Force), citing these incidents and seeking immediate action against those involved in torturing the jumbos. According to the Task Force, over 850 captive jumbos ran amok across Kerala till October this year.