Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Kottoor | Photo: PTI
Kochi: The Kerala High Court has appointed an amicus curiae to inspect the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre at Kottoor in Thiruvananthapuram district and submit a report about the facilities available there.
The direction by the high court came on a plea initiated by it in 2018 based on news reports about the sad plight of an elephant by name 'Sasthamcotta Neelakandan' of Sasthamcotta Sree Dharma Sastha Temple.
The tusker was taken to the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre on the orders of the high court and died there while undergoing treatment.
Subsequently, the court found that there was "shortfall and shortcoming in the matter of providing treatment and care" to the tusker during rehabilitation at the Kottoor Centre.
The court had also observed that it was highly essential to improve the facilities available in Kottoor Centre, which is the only Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Kerala.
Thereafter, the state government informed the court that the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre at Kottoor was being upgraded and would be spread over an area of 51 hectares where the best facilities in respect of housing, veterinary care, exposure to wild foraging and facilities for socialising and group behaviour of elephants would be provided.
On upgradation, the rehabilitation centre would have 50 mahouts and 50 assistant mahouts 24 hours a day for all seven days of the week, the government had said and had added that the construction work was on in full swing.
Taking note of these submissions made by the state, the court asked the amicus curiae to conduct the inspection of January 15, 2022 and listed the matter for further hearing on January 21.