Freedom is just a week away for abused elephant Sunder as the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Bombay High Court order to release him to the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bangalore by June 15.
A division bench headed by Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar ruled in favour of Peta India after MLA Vinay Kore, who owns the facility where Sunder is currently housed, approached the apex court requesting a stay on the Bombay HC’s directive to release Sunder.
Meanwhile, the Kolhapur forest department is making arrangements to relocate the pachyderm.
“We have asked for two veterinarians and two mahouts from Kerala as well as a special truck and ambulance which should be ready latest by June 1,” said M K Rao, CCF, Kolhapur.
Housed at a poultry shed at Warnanagar near Kolhapur, Sunder’s transfer was speeded up after a visit from a veterinary officer revealed that he is suffering from a “massive wound” in his left hind limb.
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The veterinary officer from Kerala, Dr Sasindradev, had recommended that Sunder be shifted immediately, fearing further injury.
“The elephant is under the risk of suffering further injuries and should be moved to Bangalore on an emergency basis,” said the vet’s report.
PETA India has been campaigning for Sunder’s release since 2012. “Sunder has only known cruelty, misery and neglect; this abused young elephant will now be on his way to safety,” said PETA, India Director of Veterinary Affairs, Dr Manilal Valliyate.