Microchip to track elephants

Rajasthan has a total of 110 elephants out of which 63 have been kept inside 21 thans (shelters) at Haathi Gaon, India’s first elephant village, situated in the outskirts of Jaipur and spread over 300 hectares. A microchip has been implanted in each elephant to track their movement.

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Each than has three elephants. The elephants here are attached to their mahouts. Out of 63 elephants, as many as 58 elephants are cows. The everyday expenditure of an elephant, which goes up to Rs 2,500, is taken care of by an elephant manager who also stays inside the Haathi Gaon along with his family.

Acting on a complaint, the magistrate’s court in Amber recently directed the police to investigate into cruelty against elephants used as a tourist attraction and for giving joy rides to the visitors to the historic Amber Fort. The elephants from Haathi Gaon regularly carry tourists up and down at the fort. The complainant Gauri Maulekhi said in the complaint that the way the elephants were being treated amounted to an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. In her written complaint she had mentioned that most elephants had scars in their bodies and the court order would help stop the torture.

Following this complaint, PETA India alerted the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and instructed the chief wildlife warden of Rajasthan to probe the matter about the apparently illegal custody of most captive elephants used for rides in Jaipur, many of whom have tusks cut-off indicating the possibility of the ivory trade.

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