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Ajmer Court directs Forest Department to house the elephant in a state facility

The Chief Judicial Magistrate court in Ajmer has directed the Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan to take the custody of  young elephant Suman, who is around 10 year old elephant, and was found in Ajmer without the required documents under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and shift her to a state-run facility as per the Central Zoo Authority Guidelines.

The incident was brought to the attention of the Forest Department officials by Humane Society International/India and People for Animals (PFA) last week. It was discovered that Suman was being kept illegally in Ajmer by persons, who after being discovered fled with the elephant to Jaipur.

In response to the information that few individuals had kept the elephant in illegal custody in Jaipur, on the 25th of May, the Forest Department Officials confiscated the elephant, as case of hunting and other offense under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ajmer.

“It is an extremely positive move by the and the Rajasthan Forest Department for the elephants. Elephants are a protected species and it is only right that the state be responsible for their well-being and safety. These elephants have been illegally brought into the state and the almost in every case, the person who possess these animals have no ownership certificate. These animals are tortured, beaten and broken so that they be made to work. This is abuse in its truest form and these gentle beings have no protection against their abusers. We are hopeful that this order will set a precedence in other cases and have a positive impact on the lives of these elephants, who have borne only horrible treatment at the hands of humans.” Said Gauri Maulekhi, Government Liaison Officer to HSI/India and Trustee, PFA.

Elephants are made to work  undergo tremendous mental, physical and emotional abuse. These elephants have had their spirits broken and denied to express basic natural behaviors such as foraging for food or socializing with other elephants while they are forced to work. These animals are beaten up regularly to make them obey and the use of ankush for rides is prevalent in some places like Amer, even though it is banned.  These elephants have no respite from being overworked and are not fed proper food, given adequate water or medical treatments.

Elephant are often captured as babies and have to undergo a ruthless training process called ‘the crush’, whereby these beautiful creatures are beaten, poked and starved into submission by their handlers. This is just the beginning of the pain that these elephants are put through. The abuse continues till well into their old age, or till the time these elephants cannot bear the pain of it

HSI/India has also filed a complaint against various owners of elephants used for joyrides in Amer Fort Jaipur on the basis of a health inspection report done by The Animal Welfare Board of India, which uncovered the cruelties meted out towards these elephants and their deplorable health conditions.

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