'Euthanasia will be last resort for Jim Corbett jumbo'

AFP File Photo for representation

A terminally ill 55-year old female elephant may face euthanasia as a trailing option in case veterinarians fail to cure the disease that the animal has been suffering since long. 

The jumbo is said to be in excruciating pain because of multiple problems and foot diseases causing abscess and severe infection. The animal which is in its final life span withers in extreme agony as doctors prepare to revisit the strategy to cure the animal.  

The aged ailing female elephant, Lakshmi, is current in the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve in the hill state of Uttrakhand. The government in Uttrakhand on Monday set up a panel of experts that will weigh in all options of treating the elephant.

Talking to Deccan Herald today, principal chief conservator of forest, Uttrakhand, Jai Raj, said the priority is to save the life of the elephant in pain. “A panel of experts has been set up for this,” Jai Raj said, adding that euthanasia will be the last resort if all treatment fails. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, a mortally injured, captive animal can be euthanized by concerned government officials. 

Vivek Pandey, chief conservator of forest of Kumaon region in Uttrakhand, confirming the formation of the panel to DH said members from the Mathura based Wildlife SOS-Elephant Conservation and Care Centre too have been included in the panel that will suggest the a possible cure and course of treatment for the elephant given the complexities of problems the animal suffers. 

“Last year, veterinarian from South Africa Dr Kobus Rath had also examined Lakshmi,” Pandey said. Lakshmi was among the eight elephants seized from private individuals in the state by the government. The measure by the government to take custody of the elephants followed the directions from the Uttrakhand High Court that was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) regarding encroachments around the Corbett Tiger Reserve. “The average life of an elephant is around 60-years,” Vivek Panday said.  

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