Elephant population on the rise in TN

Elephant population on the rise in TN

The population of wild elephants in Tamil Nadu was 2,307 in 1993, which touched 2,971 in 1997 and 3,052 in 2002. Two years ago the number of wild elephants was estimated to be 3,867, officials said here. Block and dung counting methods were adopted to arrive at the numbers.

In Kerala and Karnataka elephant population has been on the decline. This was stated at a recent meeting of the Steering Committee of Project Elephant under the Ministry of Environment and Forests in New Delhi.

The meeting decided to form an Elephant Task Force on the lines of Tiger Task Force and set up a rescue and rehabilitation centre for elephants that stray from forests, similar to the one functioning near the Vandalur Zoo here for rescued tigers and lions. The committee expressed concern over the upkeep and maintenance of elephants in captivity. The Ministry had issued guidelines for care and management of elephants in captivity nearly seven years ago.

It said state governments should conduct a survey and report the exact number of captive elephants in temples and other establishments. States should ensure that no illegal acquisition of pachyderms could be made.

The Ministry requested the state governments not to issue any fresh ownership certificate for calves of captive elephants without DNA testing to prevent poaching.

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