May 22, 2014 2:33:28 am
The forest department plans to shift Sunder, an allegedly ill-treated elephant from Kolhapur, to a rehabilitation centre in Bangalore between May 31 and June 8. This transfer was sped up after a visit by a veterinary officer revealed that Sunder was suffering from a “massive wound” in his left hind limb.
“We are in the process of acquiring all the necessary permission. We have written to the CCF Kerala and the other authorities indicating our tentative dates, between May 31 and June 8,” said M K Rao, CCF, Kolhapur.
The Bombay High Court had in April ordered release of the elephant currently housed in a poultry shed owned by MLA Vinay Kore in Kolhapur.
Recently, a forest veterinary officer from Kerala examined Sunder in order to issue the health and fitness certificate before it can be transported to Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bangalore. Following his visit along with V S Shelke, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Kolhapur, the veterinary officer, Dr Sasindradev, has advised that Sunder be shifted immediately, fearing further injury.
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“A massive wound is seen on the left hind limb, which occurred as a result of being constantly tied up with heavy chains. The elephant is under the risk of suffering further injuries from mismanagement at his present location and should be moved to Bangalore on an emergency basis,” said the vet’s report, which was submitted to the the Chief Conservator of Forests (Territorial) Kolhapur.
Sunder’s tusks too “show wearing out” due to constant lying on concrete floor, according to the vet. The vet has declared Sunder fit for transportation owing to his otherwise healthy condition and has advised that the animal be transported under veterinary supervision and guidance.
Meanwhile, Kore, who PETA India alleges is not the legal owner of Sunder and has kept the elephant on his property illegally, has attempted to block the HC order by filing an appeal in the Supreme Court.
PETA India has been campaigning for Sunder’s release since 2012. “Sunder, who has known nothing but hideous abuse,
needs to be rescued without delay, so that he can get the care he so desperately needs and deserves,” said PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate.
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