Elephant-brake with nylon strap invites ire

Elephant-brake with nylon strap invites ire

Elephant Brake (DH Photo)

An 'elephant brake' with a nylon strap used in an elephant in Kerala is inviting widespread criticism from animal lovers after a video of it went viral on the social media.

The captive elephant management rules clearly state that nylon ropes with spikes or sharp edges should not be used for tying elephants.

However, many crude techniques using nylon ropes and spikes were still being used covertly in elephants, allege elephant rights activists.

The video shows a nylon strap tied on the two rear legs of the elephant is such a manner that if the elephant stretches the legs beyond a point, the strap will get tightened, causing pain to the elephant and will affect blood circulation. 

According to a government official who used to work with elephant squads in Kerala, several persons used to come up with claims that they innovated effective 'brake system' to control elephants. The video in circulation also seems to be one such. It was reviewed by a team of experts and rejected approval to it as it was found to be an illegal technique and amounted to torture.

Elephant rights activist V K Venkitachalam said that there also used to be a practice of attaching sharp metals spikes along with such nylon straps so as to control elephants. The mahout could also pull the straps so that he could stop the elephant. Owing to the strict vigil of animal lovers, such practices were not much used while parading elephants for public events these days.

A veterinary doctor working on wild elephants said that such crude techniques with nylon straps would be used to tame wild elephants. But it was not allowed for captive elephants. 

Animal overs have expressed serious concerns on the social media over the inhumane elephant brake technique.