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Maneka: Centre should rescue jumbos from illegal captivity

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016,12:42 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Union Minister and wildlife activist Maneka Gandhi today said the Centre should help rescue elephants from illegal captivity and circuses where they are ill-treated and subjected to cruelty. Government should pitch-in to help rescue elephants who are subjected to cruelty and ill-treated by their owners in circuses and temples.

The cost for keeping an elephant is so high that it is not possible for a single NGO to do it on its own, the Union Women and Child Development Minister said during her visit to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura. Each elephant costs about Rs 60,000 to 1 lakh per month in terms of medical care, feed and rehabilitation.

There are only 22,000 elephants left in the country. Of these at least 6,000 are in brutal and illegal captivity. Around 800 elephants are killed by starvation, beating, drowning and ill-treatment every year, she said. The center, run by Wildlife SOS, is country’s first such rescue and conservation center for elephants which houses 18 rescued pachyderms.

Elephants confiscated under the Wildlife Protection Act by the Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttar Padesh are housed here for long term rehabilitation and care. The Uttar Pradesh state government and Wildlife SOS have created a unique model by establishing India’s first elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre. I am hopeful that other state governments will follow the model established by the UP government.