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The Indian Elephant is an endangered species, but private ownership is permitted in India. These elephants belong to travel and begging category and have been so classified because of their work type involving traveling across regions and seeking money from the public.The Travel-Begging elephants that are kept to generate income by travelling and begging and are seldom considered under protections under the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act, 2002.
These elephants are kept in captivity far from their natural range, are forced into an unnatural lifestyle and undergo tremendous stress;- deprived of a natural environment and natural behavior, their health, and lives are often compromised.
Traveling/ Begging elephants have substandard makeshift shelters with conctrete floors in urban setting without vegetation, and are chained up to 12 hours a day in unhygenic conditions- the other 12 hours the elephants are made to work early in the day without shade or water or food. They do not get enough water to drink, and rarely bathe- and activity, (as well as dusting), important elephant behavior. Their skin care is neglected, they have or injuries caused abrasive action of chains, cuts, abcesses and injuries caused by the use of tools to control the elephant.
These elephants are generally fed food waste including vegetable peels and left over portions of junk, oily, sweet and spicy food- leading to obestity and painful, degenerative joint disease. Such elephants, usually in an acute state of hunger and exhaustion due to a long working day accept any food, however alien it may be to their real diet. Wild elephants are known to forage and be active for 18- 20 h a day, eating only forset grass, leaves and water,
Traveling/ Begging elephants are forced to walk on hot, hard concrete/tarred roads which affects the feet of the animals leading to health problems and cracked nails. They travel up to 12 hours a day, without rest, food, water or shade. Constant exposure to long hours of sunlight result in diseases of the eye a common ailment of these elephants.
Records of health/service/ownership are not maintained, and the animals do not have access to proper and exclusive veterinary care by doctors with experience in treating elephants.
This is animal neglect, abuse and cruelty, violating both the Wildlife Protection Act, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960. Protect this endangered animal and STOP issuing Transit Permits for traveling and begging elephants.
Dr. Patangrao Shripatao Kadam
Forests, Rehabilitation and Relief Works
Phone: +91 22 22025398
Fax: +91 22 22024751