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Madras High Court Judge Safeguarded a 60-year Old Elephant named Lalitha

Last Updated on March 5, 2023 by Administrator

A Madras High Court judge visits a wounded 60-year-old temple elephant and urges the state to relocate elephants captive to rehabilitation centres. The Madras High Court recently stated that the Tamil Nadu government must execute the Court’s 2020 judgement forbidding temples or private individuals from acquiring or owning elephants. Justice Swaminathan paid a visit to Lalitha, a 60-year-old elephant who had severe physical injuries and was in terrible health.

The court was considering a petition filed by an animal rights activist who claimed that the elephant Lalitha needed medical attention. Although rejected to transfer ownership of the elephant to the Forest Department in 2020, Judge Swaminathan directed the authorities to inspect her at any time and to petition the Court for a change of the agreement if circumstances merited. Following then, the caretakers sent news and images of Lalitha on a regular basis.

Nevertheless, the elephant recently fell and was injured. So, Justice Swaminathan, accompanied by several campaigners, paid a visit to Lalitha last month and discovered wounds on her body. The judge was satisfied that the elephant’s keepers were not providing sufficient care. Since the state was in control of Lalitha, the court stated that it was the State’s statutory and constitutional duty to take all reasonable steps to meet Lalitha’s physical and medical needs.

In this regard, the court asked the Animal Husbandry Department to appoint Dr. Kalaivanan, Regional Joint Director Madurai, to attend to the elephant’s medical needs and to take appropriate action. The elephant had to be fed nutritious food and provided clean water. Any medications required to resuscitate her were to be made accessible immediately. The district collector was supposed to carry it out.

The court further stated that after Lalitha healed, she would be transferred to an appropriate Government Elephant Rehabilitation Center for lifelong care and custody, as she had already reached retirement age. Furthermore, the court said that because the elephant was being kept in a temple, there was a potential that the loud music pouring through the speakers would cause the elephant considerable distress. As a result, the court ordered the police to maintain a noise-free atmosphere.

Written By – Unnati

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