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Raid Against Owners for Illegally Keeping Elephants


21 October 2005

Two young elephants being kept illegally in Delhi were seized on 14 October 2005. Their owners were hiring them out for religious festivals and weddings. The 6 year old female calf and the 11 year old male have now been shifted to the Delhi Zoo.

Acting on information from the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), the Department of Wildlife Preservation (Government of India) and the Delhi Wildlife Department jointly raided two elephant owners in Yamuna Pushta, Delhi. Both the owners were unable to produce satisfactory documents.

The papers for the female calf showed that she was from Chhapra, Bihar. However, the owner had no state transit permit or document from the Delhi government to show how she had been transported to Delhi. The other owner had papers apparently issued by the Chief Wildlife Warden, Itanagar, for an 18 year old male. However, the veterinarian from the Delhi Zoo, who was present during the raid, said that the young male was clearly around 11 years of age.

Both the elephants were taken to the Zoo on the night of 14 October, while the owners were asked to produce ownership certificates the next day. When they failed to do so, a case was filed against them on 20 October. Investigations are continuing.

Trade in elephant calves illegally caught from wild herds in the north-east has become a huge problem. WPSI has records of several cases investigated by the Forest Department of Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, where wild-caught elephant calves were being transported to various parts of India. Some had forged certificates from the office of the Chief Wildlife Wardens, while others had no certificates at all.
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