Illegally Kept, Severely Neglected Ailing Elephant and Her Calf in Tripura Sent for Intensive Treatment and Care After PETA India’s Intervention

Posted on by Erika Goyal

After hearing from PETA India and hon’ble member of Parliament Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, the High-Powered Committee (HPC) of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India recommended that 55-year-old elephant Pratima and her calf be transferred to the centre for elephants at Vantara in Jamnagar to address the mother elephant’s chronic and complex medical conditions, which are apparently due to years of severe neglect. An alarmed Tripura resident appealed for help for Pratima and her calf via a video on social media. As a result of the appeal, the animals will live out their years together at Vantara, where there is a world-class veterinary facility specifically for elephants.

Further enquiries revealed that Pratima and her calf were being kept illegally without an ownership certificate by an individual at Unakoti in Tripura in violation of Section 42 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972, thereby making the possession of the animal illegal under Section 51 of the WPA, 1972. A veterinary examination revealed that Pratima was emaciated and had sustained multiple abscesses on her body. Her left foreleg was swollen, and she was unable to bear weight on it and was limping. She had also sustained multiple injuries to her abdomen and was suffering from a lack of muscle mass that had caused her backbone to become arched. In consideration of her significant long-term veterinary needs and her calf’s bond with and reliance on her, the elephants are now en route to the state-of-the-art elephant hospital at Vantara.

Captive elephants like Pratima are typically controlled with weapons and kept chained on concrete. Elephants used for logging, rides, ceremonies, and other purposes become frustrated and sometimes lash out and kill mahouts or other humans. Vantara does not use weapons on or chain the elephants it houses.

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