Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Aged elephants in State uncared for

KOCHI: Aged captive elephants are left to die in the State without proper rehabilitation centres.

The elephant orphanage at Kottur, near Agasthyavanam, in Thiruvananthapuram district has failed to develop as desired even three years after its establishment.

The orphanage was set up by the Forest Department with the support of Project Elephant of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to provide shelter for sick and old animals and wild calves that cannot be sent back to the forests.

The project has failed to obtain the approval of the Finance Department, which fears that it will become another white elephant. The department fears that the maintenance of elephants owned by private owners will be a drain on the exchequer. The objection of the Finance Department has also stalled the formation of a semi-autonomous society for running the orphanage.

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