Naveen calls for proper translocation of elephants

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 30 (UNI) Concerned over the death of a female wild elephant during translocation, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged his counterpart in Andhra Pradesh to put in place a proper action plan for the translocation of wild elephants to avert any further casualty.

One female elephant died yesterday after it was captured and tranquilized by the Andhra Pradesh forest officials in their bid to drive away a herd of nine elephants migrated from Orissa. The elephant was transported and released inside the Lakhari valley sanctuary in Gajapati district of Orissa.

Describing the death as unfortunate, the Chief Minister said the law for the inter-state translocation of wild animals must be adhered to and the scope of organising a controlled drive be explored to translocate the elephant herd to a suitably nearby habitat without resorting to capture of individual animal.

He said elephants have wide range of habitat and they rarely remain confined to any particular territory. The state was mandated to provide security to the wild animals.

If at all translocation by truck is to be resorted to, a proper protocol with adequate safeguards should be taken and nothing should be done in haste, Mr Patnaik said in his letter to his counterpart in Andhra Pradesh.

The Chief Minister advised to adopt continuous tracking of elephants and drive the pachyderms when they stray into habitations and wait for the paddy crop to be harvested when the herd might return on its own.

The Chief Minister said he was distressed to learn that two elephants, tied and loaded in trucks and injected with tranquilsing drugs, were moved over a distance of 200 kms and released in the Lakhari sanctuary on October 28.

The transportation took more than 18 hours during which the elephants were probably given repeated darts of tranquilizer. The trauma caused in the process to the elephants and the shock and dehydration that the operation had caused to the two animals led to the death of one of them a few hours after they were released, Mr.Patnaik said.

UNI

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