Andhra Govt. to translocate captive elephants from zoos, circuses to national parks

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Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Dec.27 (ANI): In a move which may draw appreciation of animal lovers, Andhra Pradesh government has decided to translocate captive elephants from zoos and circuses to national parks and game sanctuaries.

This initiative has been taken consequent to the Central body of Central Zoo Authority (CZA) suggesting translocation of the captive animals to their natural habitat.

Thus the zoos in Andhra Pradesh at Tirupati, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam will pursue the CZA's directive and send the elephants to the nearest sanctuary.

In total, there are 14 elephants in the three zoological gardens of which three belong to the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam.

According to CZA circular, the zoo environment is not an appropriate place for large animals as such they need expansive locations to move around freely.

"Elephants walk around 40 kilometres in forest. So the space, which is available in the zoo, is not sufficient to keep such a big species like elephant. So that's why CZA (Central Zoo Authority) wants the animals not be displayed because this much space is not available in the zoo, where animal can be displayed," said Rahul Pandey, official of Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Visakhapatnam.

However, tourists are disappointed to know that elephants will be shifted to the national parks from the zoos and for the children, it will be an expensive and strenuous trip to visit a game sanctuary.

"Government has said that elephants should be freed in the forests. But, here in zoos children get knowledge about them. They will not know about them only by visiting the forests," said Satvan Singh, a tourist from Kolkata.

Zoo owners are waiting for further guidelines from the government in regard to the elephants.

After receiving instructions, elephants will be shifted to the forests without much delay.

Government opines that elephants in natural habitat will be better taken care by mahouts (elephant keeper), who will ensure the jumbos' needs are met. (ANI)

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