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Elephants break into Kerala farm to drink clean water

Thiruvanathapuram, April 6, 2013, (IANS):

Wild elephants have been breaking into a state government-owned livestock farm in Kerala's popular hill station Munnar to drink clean water as the water in the town's Mattupetty dam has become polluted, an official said.

"We have brought this to the attention of the government who in turn have asked the Kerala State Pollution Control Board to find out what can be done to clean up the dam," a Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) official told IANS.

The Kerala Livestock Development Board, which owns the farm, has registered a complaint with KSBB that wild elephants have been smashing water pipes in the farm to drink clean water.

The pollution in the picturesque Mattupetty dam is caused by diesel or kerosene-run motor boats that are used to ferry tourists, an official said.

Munnar town is in Idukki district and is located 1,450 metre above sea level in the Western Ghats.

Elephant expert Jacob Cheeran said that on an average an elephant requires 125 litres of water to drink and more than 200 litres to throw on its body every day, and the tuskers prefer good quality of water to drink.

Chairman of the state pollution control board K. Sajeevan said that he would visit Munnar next week and speak to the officials of the farm and see what can be done to keep the water bodies there free from pollution.

The livestock farm, an Indo-Swiss project, was set up in Munnar in 1963.


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