Gadchiroli Sept. 2 (District Correspondent) As many as 3 elephants from the Patanil Elephant Camp in Aheri taluka of the district were translocated to Gujrat early this morning. The animals were taken to Radhakrishna Temple Elephant Welfare Trust in Jamnagar in Gujarat, according to Mr. Kishor Mankar, Conservator of Forest.
The elephants included 1 female and 2 male. While the two elephants were above 70 years of age, one was 25 years old. A special team of veterinary doctors and other staff along with the animal ambulances had come to Patanil to carry the animals. The entire operation of the shifting was done by the staff of the Gujrat Trust itself in presence of the local forest officials.
The two elephants were already retired and were not engaged in any work for the last several years. The young elephant which was brought from Sawantwadi some ten years ago was not much trained, it was told by Mr. Mankar.
After completing all the necessary formalities, the elephants were shifted. The Trust of Jamnagar will now be looking after these animals as it has well trained staff and all the necessary facilities required for the elephants, it was further told.
The work of dragging logs of wood and other such transportation was being done by the elephants earlier but that work has been stopped for the last over 25 years after the other means of transport were available, according to Mr. Mankar.
The issue of shifting of elephants was going on since the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government. The move was however strongly opposed by almost all the political parties of the district besides the elected public representatives and the comman people of the area. The then District Incharge Minister Eknath Shinde also had promised that the elephants will not be shifted elsewhere. The decision was finally withdrawn by the then government.
As soon as the new government came to power, the elephants were finally moved to Gujrat in a special truck las night. The shifting was done in the night time to avoid any clash with the local people. The news however spread like wild fire today. A video of the vehicle carrying the elephants passing through the road also has gone viral on various social media platforms.
The entire operation was conducted in a very secret manner considering the strong opposition of the local people to this shifting. The matter of elephant’s shifting was in wide discussion in the district throughout the day today and there is a massive disappointment among the people over this shifting.