Bhola, an elephant aged around 35, was lodged at Loni police station as its mahout took it inside Uttar Pradesh on Saturday morning, near Ram Nagar area of Loni, without the transit-pass and the legal-ownership papers.
The seizure was made by the forest department officials with the help of an NGO, who said that the animal sustained injuries last month in an accident in Delhi.
Bhola's fate now hangs in a balance as the actual owner Mohammed Akram, who lives in a JJ camp at Laxmi Nagar in Delhi, was said to be suffering from dengue and could not produce ownership papers in time.
"If the papers are not received, we have an option to send the animal to a rescue centre at Agra as we cannot send it to a wildlife century due to the injury," forest department range officer in Ghaziabad, RV Singh told Hindustan Times.
"The elephant has been brought up under a domestic environment and sending it to a wildlife habitat could be dangerous due to threats by other wild animals. We have asked its owner to produce the ownership papers," said Singh.
Bhola is presently the centre of attraction as hundreds of locals have flocked to Loni police station. "I am here to see the animal who has been 'arrested' and it is interesting to watch it eating sugarcanes," said Mohit Kumar, a 10 year old boy who had come to Loni police station to see Bhola.
The elephant is currently in chains at the police station. Sugarcane, banyan and peepal tree leaves are currently being fed to the animal and proper medical aid is being administered to check the wound.
A case was lodged under Wildlife Protection Act 1972 under sections 40(2) and 51 against the owner and the mahawat Mangal kumar, officials said.