Microchips to make identification of jumbos easy

Elephants at Palace, Suttur Mutt, N'gud temple to be covered

To overcome the hurdles in identifying the captive elephants in the possession of private parties, the forest authorities have decided to incorporate technology in identifying them with ease.

Based on the guidelines issued by Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the Forest department of the State will start implanting microchips in captive elephants in the district. A total of nine elephants in Mysuru division will be covered under the initiative, beginning from next week.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Territorial circle), Mysuru division, V Karikalan said ‘Six elephants belonging to the erstwhile royal family at Amba Vilas Palace, Mysuru, two elephants belonging to Suttur Mutt and one at Srikanteshwara Swamy Temple at Nanjangud will be implanted microchips. Apart from microchips, three photos and medical reports of the elephants will also be compiled, he said.

Karikalan explained that the chips will be implanted in the ear of the elephants. “It is a unique identification for elephants. Once the chip is installed, by scanning it with an equipment from outside,  will help in easily identifying the elephants.

However, the microchip cannot be used to track the elephants like radio-collars. Veterinarians from the Zoo and forest department will take up the implantation process, he said.

Karikalan said in a recent meeting held at Bengaluru on June 11, all the officials concerned were instructed to implement the MoEF guidelines. “We have sought 10 microchips from Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, as the menagerie has the devices in its possession,” he said.

With the exercise set to be taken up around the State, even the elephants in different elephant camps of the forest department will be covered.

Additional Prinicipal Conservator of Forests, Ajai Misra said that the exercise was based on the guidelines issued in 2008. He also clarified that it was not being taken up for the first time. “The elephants that were left out during the previous exercise will be covered now”, Misra said.

However, a source in the forest department said that the process was being speeded up following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) regarding the same in the High Court. Since, the department should apprise the apex court about the same, microchips are being installed now, the source added.


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