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Elephant deaths: Karnataka High Court directs state to constitute expert committee


Elephant deaths: Karnataka High Court directs state to constitute expert committee

Deccan Chronicle, New Delhi, 12th September, 2019


BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court directed the state government to constitute a committee of four experts for a comprehensive study on the deaths of elephants at eight elephant camps in the state.


Earlier, the court had asked the government and the petitioner to name specialists or expert body to study and report on the status of elephant camps and the deaths of elephants.


The petitioner's advocate had listed several names and finally Prof. R. Sukumar, Thomas Mathew, Surendra Verma and TMC trustee of Wildlife First Organization Trust, Asian Elephants Research and Conservation Centre were shortlisted. The court has now directed the government to form the committee of four.


Members of the committee should visit eight elephant camps in the state to study the condition, cleanliness, hygiene, health of the elephants, the food and medical facilities provided to them, and the causes behind deaths of elephants, it said.  Further, the committee has been told to submit a factual report to the state government on what steps it should take to prevent elephant deaths. The bench also directed that the committee be provided with facilities to visit elephant camps.


Similarly, the government should follow its earlier directions, including appointing a veterinarian to elephant camps, the court said. The court has adjourned the hearing to September 19. Following reports of elephant deaths in Mysuru, Madikeri and Shivamogga elephant camps without food, water and medicine, a PIL was filed with a request to direct the government to set up a high-level committee into the deaths of elephants.