A day after a four-year-old Vicky was mauled to death by an elephant at the vegetable market near Jalandhar bypass on Wednesday, the district forest and wildlife department formed a four-member committee on Thursday to check and diagnose all registered elephants in the district.
Although a microchip has been installed in the ears of almost 12 elephants registered with the wildlife department, the officials do not have an instrument called chip scanner, which has been borrowed from Chhatbir Zoo, Chandigarh, for the purpose.
The paucity of such instruments with the local wildlife department can be gauged from the fact that they only have one tranquiliser gun and one pistol for emergencies, and there is severe shortage of cages too.
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The four-member committee, headed by range officer Khushwinder Singh, will get done medical check-up, including mental and physical health, of all elephants registered by the department. They will also trace and verify the owners of elephants who as per law are directly responsible if a captive elephant attacks anyone.
Speaking to Ludhiana Newsline, Daljit Singh Brar, district forest officer, said, “The committee has been formed under the jurisdiction of DFO Ludhiana and wildlife officer, Phillaur range. It includes four range officers who will conduct medical check-up of all registered elephants and if any problem is found, the animal will be immediately taken from the owner and sent for proper treatment. The report will be submitted at the earliest.”
The post-mortem report of Vicky was also out on Thursday which said that the skull of the child was completely crushed, leading to the death of the boy along with multiple bruises on the entire body.
Jodhewal Basti SHO Harpal Singh said, “Although the parents were ready for compromise yesterday, the child has died and thus there can be no compromise in this case. We have registered an FIR under Section 304 (A) against two caretakers of elephant — Baba Billu and Chunni Lal. Since the section is bailable, both were released on bail today but the investigation is on.”
Chief wildlife warden of Punjab Dhirendra Singh said, “The state issued ownership certificates and installed microchips in the ears of elephants registered till 2003 but after that it was prohibited as per the Wildlife Act. All elephants sold or purchased after 2003 are illegal but this elephant had a microchip installed.”