Govt whip: 2 mahouts flee with elephants
Dilnaz Boga @DilnazBoga
Fearing that their four elephants would be confiscated by officials, two elephant handlers, who tried to flee but were traced by the police, finally fled.Recently, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) instructed the chief conservator of forests (territorial), Thane, to form a team to assess the health of four privately-owned elephants, out of which two were kept in Borivli (West) ground.Sources said all the four elephants are bound to be afflicted by diseases caused by obesity, bad environment and unnatural circumstances. The report will be submitted to the inspector general of forests and director of Project Elephant.Shakuntala Majumdar, president of Thane’s Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said: “We are going to finalise the report by Friday and e-mail it to the offices.”On Monday after officials visited Borivli where two elephants were kept, the two handlers tried to escape.Vivien Braggs, a social worker, lives near the open ground where the elephants are kept.“If the animals made any sound, their handlers used to hit them with iron rods,” he said.“I had no idea that the smaller elephant was blind and had his nails removed. There is no water on that ground for them to drink.”Braggs said the locals have seen the two elephants begging on the roads. “This morning, we saw the handlers leave with them and we tried to stop them as we knew the officials would be back for a thorough examination,” he said.Braggs then called the police. “The police intercepted the handlers. As they were escorting the animals back, the handlers fled in autos,” he said.Later, the mahouts’ families with the animals too left. Police sources said a local Congress corporator had tried to intervene on behalf of the handlers and tried to get information about the complainant. “Shiva Shetty wanted to find out who the complainant was,” said the officer.
Published Date: Jun 26, 2013
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