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Taking note of the increasing cruelty and exploitation of the elephants at the hands of their caretakers and owners, Madras High Court has recommended the state government to consider formulating new policies to prohibit private ownership of elephants by individuals or temples.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy noted that persons who exploit the elephants should be dealt with as mercilessly as they treat the animals.

Madras High Court gave the following suggestion in connection to the PIL filed by an activist Rangarajan Narsimhan. The plea was moved against the poor and inhumane treatment of elephants owned by Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple. The elephants were separated from their mahouts.

As per the petitioner, as per Rule 4(4) of the Tamil Nadu Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules, an elephant must be maintained by the same mahout and cavady (mahout’s assistant) during its entire lifespan except when they are under inebriated condition or in prolonged illness.

The plea added, “But the temple authorities had given a complete go by to the rule and sacked the mahouts of elephants Andal and Laxmi that were maintained by the temple for no justifiable reason and appointed new persons to manage the animals. This has put both the elephants and the devotees under risk.”

The court has admitted the plea and directed the forest department to file a report on the availability of appropriate rules on the maintenance of such elephants. The court also sought clarification if there are any appropriate rules, why they are not properly implemented in 10 weeks.

Brutality on Female Elephant in Coimbatore

A recent incident in Coimbatore drew flak all over the country over the brutality on an elephant by two mahouts in a rejuvenation camp in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The 19-year old elephant was beaten brutally for not obeying the commands.

The two mahouts tied the elephant with a tree and were beating her with sticks for almost 20 seconds. She was crying in pain. It was reported that the elephant was from the Srivilliputhur temple.


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