Thrissur: Within a year, a total of 34 captive elephants and 99 wild elephants died in Kerala. The dead wild elephants include 20 tuskers, 68 female elephants and 11 tuskless male elephants (mozha).
Most of number of wild elephants (32) died in Wayanad, while 10 elephants died in Idukki, 9 in Kottayam and Malappuram, 8 in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad, 7 in Ernakulam, 5 in Kannur, 4 in Thrissur, 3 in Pathanamthitta and 2 in Kollam and Kozhikode. Many of them died of electric shock, train accident and other injuries.
Among the captive elephants died, 25 are tuskers, seven females and two tuskless male elephants. Most of the deaths caused by diseases like ‘Erandakkettu’ (impaction) and injuries.
The Mahesh Rangarajan Commission had asked the central government in 2010 to form a National Elephant Protection Authority to ensure safety of wild elephants in forests. But it did not happen even after years.
Heritage Animal Task Force secretary V. K. Venkitachalam said that the authority has to be functional in order to stop trains over-speeding through railway tracks inside forests. They also demanded immediate implementation of the amended conditions in the Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules.