Chennai: Zoo to move elephants out

CHENNAI: The Zoological Park at Vandalur on the outskirts of Chennai is set to shift the four elephants in its collection following a ban imposed by the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI) on elephants being part of zoo collections.

And zoo officials seem not too unhappy about the move, for some of the elephants have in the past shown violent tendencies and their upkeep is expensive.

The CZAI directive dated November 7, 2009 sent to the Chief Wildlife Wardens of all States requires the zoo to immediately shift the animals to camps, to facilities available with the Forest Department at National Parks or to Tiger Reserves.

The communication said it was brought to the notice of the CZAI time and again that being kept in zoos caused trauma to elephants.

“It is a mega-herbivore which is free-ranging, cruising over long distances. Very few zoos in the country have adequate space to permit free movement of elephants, as a result of which they were kept chained for long hours, causing stress to them,” the communication added.

These captive elephants were not breeding and posed a serious threat to visitors when they were in ‘masth’ (mating period).

The programme to transport the animals need to be drawn up in consultation with the Chief Wildlife Warden.

Vandalur zoo officials said the zoo had two sub-adults and a calf.

The zoo also has a cow elephant, which is used for joy rides.

From THE HINDU

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