What's New :
19th September 2022 (7 Topics)

Joymala’s case flags gaps in private ownership norms for elephants


The ongoing dispute between the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Assam over the alleged mistreatment of a temple elephant named Joymala, has brought into focus the prevailing lacunae over private ownership of elephants in India.


Why private ownership of elephants is a concern?

  • As per the MoEFCC, it’s illegal to hold elephants in captivity without ownership certificates.
  • Rules only allow for elephants to be exchanged or donated to temples or between private individuals.
  • Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Tripura and Madhya Pradesh account for 96% of elephants in captivity without ownership certificates.
  • Captive elephants are provided a poor diet and inadequate food. Due to a limited diet, elephants can suffer from intestinal infections, lung-related injections, or impactions.
  • It also leads to an increase in “black marketing” of elephants.
  • Other important threats to Elephants
    • Escalation of poaching
    • Habitat loss
    • Human-elephant conflict
    • Mistreatment in captivity
    • Abuse due to elephant tourism
    • Rampant mining, Corridor destruction

Why it is happening?

  • Lack of law enforcement or governance of the private ownership of elephants in many States.

Important Animal Rights Organisation

  • Animal Welfare Board of India
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
  • People for Animals
  • Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) 

About Asian Elephants

  • There are about 50,000 - 60000 Asian elephants in the world. More than 60% of the population is held in India.
  • There are three subspecies of Asian elephant which are the Indian, Sumatran and Sri Lankan.
    • The Indian subspecies has the widest range and accounts for most of the remaining elephants on the continent.
  • Protection Status
    • IUCN Red List: Endangered
    • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
    • CITES: Appendix I

 About Project Elephant

  • It is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
  • It was launched in 1992 as a Centrally-sponsored scheme.
  • The project aims-
    • To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors.
    • To address issues of man-animal conflict.
    • The welfare of captive elephants.
  • It addresses issues of man-animal conflict and welfare of domesticated elephants.
  • The elephant numbers have not increased or decreased drastically but there is increasing pressure on the elephant habitats.
  • The elephant census is conducted once in 5 years under the aegis of Project elephant.
    • The direct elephant counting method is based on the sightings of elephants.
    • In the indirect method, surveyors follow a dung decay formula for arriving at population estimation which is being used by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka at present.
      • A variation of about 8% to 9% has been noticed between the two methods.

Important Facts

  • India has 31 Elephant Reserves. Agasthiyamalai will be the country’s 32nd elephant reserve.
  • Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (5706).
  • World Elephant Day is an international annual event on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world's elephants.

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now