Elephant cannot be shifted as it is aggressive, state tells HC

Last Updated: Thursday, December 26, 2013 - 19:06

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has informed the Bombay High Court that it has not been possible to shift elephant `Sunder` of Jyotiba Temple from Warnanagar in Kolhapur to a sanctuary in Bangalore because it was not cooperating.

Hearing a petition filed by People for Ethical Treatment to Animals (PETA), the court had earlier ordered the state to shift the pachyderm to a Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Bangalore in accordance with an order passed by Forest Department.

Sunder, the elephant of Jyotiba Temple, was in news when the Forest Department passed an order in 2012, asking the authorities to shift it to a rehabilitation centre after it was not keeping well.

Additional government pleader J S Saluja informed the court on December 23 that the state had tried to board the animal on a truck so that it could be taken to Bangalore, but it was not cooperating and was very aggressive.

However, the elephant was now in good health and the state was waiting for the "right time" to take the animal in a truck to Bangalore, the pleader said.

Efforts to shift the animal now might prove dangerous for the officials and hence the authorities would prefer to wait until its aggressiveness dilutes, Saluja said.

For the time being, Sunder was being kept at the Warnanagar poultry shed. Forest and wildlife officials have visited this site and are satisfied that the place was suitable for the animal, the court was told.

A bench of Justice V M Kanade and M S Sonak, however, was not satisfied with the state`s stand and asked the government to file an affidavit before January 7.

PETA has been asked to file a rejoinder within two weeks thereafter. The matter has been kept for final disposal on January 21.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, December 26, 2013 - 19:06

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