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Rescued elephant in Delhi gives officials tough time, boards truck after 24 hours

Even though the female elephant, named Moti, was confiscated from its owner on Sunday afternoon, the team of wildlife officials were finally able to get the animal to board a truck around noon on Monday.

delhi Updated: Apr 16, 2019 12:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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The elephant, seized from its owner in Wazirabad, refused to board a truck for nearly 24 hours.(HT Photo )

A 40-year-old elephant that was being sent to a rescue centre gave a tough time to a team of 10-12 wildlife officials when it refused to board a truck for nearly 24 hours. The animal was seized from its owner in Wazirabad area and was finally sent to a rescue centre in Haryana.

Even though the full-grown female elephant, named Moti, was confiscated from its owner on Sunday afternoon, the team failed to get it to board the truck till 11.30pm at night on Sunday. On Monday, the team tried again, and after around four or five failed attempts, the animal finally boarded truck around noon.

“We had brought in JCB machines, cranes, and lifting machines, so that the elephant could be boarded on to the truck. But it refused despite all efforts. At one point, we even thought of tranquilising it. But then finally we managed to load it around noon on Monday ,” a senior forest official said.

Of the six domesticated elephants that were in Delhi, four have already been sent to Gujarat by their owners. While Moti was sent to Haryana on Monday, the last elephant, who is unwell, is likely to be temporarily sent to Asola Bhatti Sanctuary, where the national capital’s first wildlife rescue-cum-rehabilitation centre is expected to come up.

“The elephant was refusing to board the truck. The forest officials beat her continuously. They were all hitting it with sticks. In the morning a JCB machine was brought in so that the animal could be pushed to board the truck. But the animal refused and sat down. Is this not cruelty?” Farukh Khan, the owner of the elephant, said.

“Even though the elephant initially refused to board the truck, it finally did with the help of the mahout and his two helpers. Everything went fine,” the forest official said.

The elephant was fed well with banana leaves and sugarcane before boarding, officials claimed, and said it was given a bath to keep it cool during the journey. Food and buckets of water were also kept on the truck so that they could be sprinkled on the animal to keep it hydrated. Two wildlife inspectors and a veterinarian travelled with the elephant.

“The elephant will be kept at the Ban Santoor Elephant Rescue and Research Facility at Yamunanagar in Haryana. It will take at least five to six hours for the truck to reach the rescue centre from ITO, where the elephant was kept overnight in a Delhi forest department nursery,” another forest official said.

First Published: Apr 16, 2019 12:22 IST