HC refuses to allow translocation of jumbos

During the hearing of a suo motu petition over increasing elephant deaths, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice A S Bopanna said permission for translocation cannot be granted unless experts’ opinion is obtained.

The Court directed the Union government to seek the advice of conservation experts of Africa or any other country.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden B K Singh, pointed out island fencing of coffee estates in Kodagu, loss of forest area and indiscriminate eco-tourism as principal reasons for the man-animal conflict in the State.

He submitted that exotic weeds like parthenium, eupatorium and lantana were growing in abundance in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the State, taking over native grass thus creating food scarcity for the pachyderms in the forests.  

Referring to resorts and farms which have mushroomed on the Kaniyanpura Elephant Corridor, Singh sought directions to remove fences around the large private farms to ensure uninterrupted movement of elephants. He said there was no other way except to translocate elephants are struck in small patch forest land surrounded by Hemavathi backwaters.

“Our exercise to translocate two jumbos have failed. We will now translocate family of five at a time,” he said.

However, Chief Justice was not convinced.  “We will obstruct removal of elephants. You said that a resort has come up at Bandipur on the corridors. Have you recommended for removal of the resort or the elephants?” You should be protecting the animals not people,” he said.

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