SoP to capture and release of wild elephant: Tamil Nadu

A standard operating procedure (SoP) will be shortly developed by the forest department of Tamil Nadu for the capture and release of wild elephants which will be based on science and best practices

Releasing of adult male Elephant Rivaldo

  • After the release of the male elephant Rivaldo back into the wild from Vaazhaihottam check-post of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state visited camps that have housed elephants housed and interacted with the mahouts and cavadies.
  • The decision to capture Rivaldo was taken after some sections of the public demanded it. Keeping a fully adult elephants in a small kraal and attempts to train a healthy, fully mature and hefty adult elephant defeats the science involved in elephant ecology.
  • Rivaldo, despite his disabilities, appeared to be very intelligent and in a healthy condition. And it was noted that that there was not even a single instance of it indulging in crop-raiding or attacking humans.
  • Releasing the adult male elephant in the wild will be much more cost effective compared to the costs to be incurred in capturing, maintaining and training this adult elephant in captivity.

Elephant Species in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu’s Asian elephant species has shown signs of population decline at an alarming reason and this was reason enough why Rivaldo was sent back to the breeding population in the wild.

Detailing these points and a few others, the TN Chief Wildlife Warden, Shekhar Kumar Niraj has emphasized on the need for a SoP for the capture and release of wild elephants in the state.

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