Kerala to approach Supreme Court against move to relocate wild elephant
Several farmer outfits and local leaders have insisted the government to move the apex court for a long term solution
The Kerala government has decided to approach the Supreme Court seeking a permanent solution on wild elephant nicknamed Arikomban after several villages in Palakkad and Thrissur districts opposed the high court’s directive to relocate the jumbo in Parambikulam tiger reserve, said state forest minister AK Saseendran on Friday.
The minister said the government cannot take the jumbo to Parambikulam forcibly ignoring mounting protests of local people.
“We will seek the directive of the Supreme Court. Trans-locating the animal is posing a big problem. We will seek a decision based on Section 11 of the Wildlife Protection Act,” said the minister.
Section 11 gives powers to the chief wildlife warden to exercise his discretion if the animal in question has become dangerous to human lives and properties.
Several farmer outfits and local leaders have insisted the government to move the apex court for a long term solution.
Many villages around Parambikulam opposed the move to relocate the animal.
Some areas also observed shutdown last week and threatened to block the transfer of the animal physically.
Two weeks back, the high court had ordered Arikomban to be darted, radio-collared and trans-located in Parambikulam tiger reserve.
Earlier, the court had quashed the forest department’s plan to make it a ‘kumki’ (trainer) elephant after the intervention of animal lovers.
Later, the HC-appointed expert committee had suggested that the elephant can be released Mutuvarachal area of the Parambikulam tiger reserve after tranquillising it in Idukki.
But locals opposed the move fiercely saying it will stray into human habitat again and the government also felt that their concern was genuine.