HT Image
HT Image

Death and disease strike Assam's captive jumbos

Scores of captive elephants have died and hundreds more are struggling for survival in India's northeastern state of Assam because their keepers can't afford food and medicines.
By Indo-Asian News Service | PTI, Da Pam (assam),
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2005 07:26 PM IST

Scores of captive elephants have died and hundreds more are struggling for survival in India's northeastern state of Assam because their keepers can't afford food and medicines.

For the past four days, Dharanidhar Bhumiz, 52-year-old owner of three bull elephants in this village, 170 km north of Assam's main city of Guwahati, has not had a morsel of food.

One of his tuskers, Ramu, died last week after fracturing his hind leg and a severe bout of parasitic infection.

"I did not have money to treat Ramu, although he was like one of my family members. I do not feel like eating. Ramu's towering figure haunts me even while sleeping," Bhumiz said tearfully.

Like Ramu, scores of domestic elephants have either died or are suffering from multiple ailments with their keepers finding it hard to rear the giant animals.

"The health of working elephants in Assam is fast deteriorating with the animals becoming weak due to non-availability of balanced nutrition and medical attention," said Kushal Konwar Sharma, a noted elephant expert and teacher at Guwahati's College of Veterinary Science.

"I have personally examined hundreds of such elephants suffering from severe parasitic infections and food related diseases. A number of the animals have died and many more are going to perish unless treated soon."

Elephant keepers blame a 1996 Supreme Court ruling banning illegal felling of trees for the pachyderms' plight. Authorities estimate that 1,200 captive elephants in Assam were affected by the court ruling.

"Our elephants used to work in timber transport and earned anything between Rs.40,000-50,000 (about $1,000) per month," said Abani Payeng, who owns two elephants.

Today, owning elephants are a burden with the animals failing to earn even Rs.10,000 a year, said Rontu Das, another elephant keeper.

Asian elephants consume about 250 kg or more of food a day to support their huge bulk. In captivity, they have longer life spans living 60 to 70 years, or even longer.

"For an elephant's upkeep, including food and medicines, we require about Rs.7,000-10,000 a month," Payeng said.

Lack of work has also prompted elephant owners to compromise and employ unskilled mahouts, resulting in an increase in casualties with the animals killing their keepers.

"We find unskilled keepers are engaged to nurture the elephants. These second-rung mahouts very often get trampled as they are not trained to handle a bull when they develop musth, a symptom when the animals go berserk," Sharma said.

Elephant owners are angry with wildlife authorities for failing to come to the animal's rescue.

"There are no health camps organised by the authorities and no alternative employment measures chalked out for tamed elephants when the court ban was enforced," said Priabrata Teron, who owns six elephants.

Last week, the Assam government announced its decision to employ domestic elephants in the tourism sector.

"We are planning to employ some of the jumbos within the national parks by developing schemes like eco-tourism and more elephant safaris," said Assam Forest Minister Pradyut Bordoloi.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Union agricultural minister Narendra Singh Tomar at an event in New Delhi last month.(PTI File Photo)
Union agricultural minister Narendra Singh Tomar at an event in New Delhi last month.(PTI File Photo)

Govt ready to amend farm laws, says Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 08:06 AM IST
Tomar said the three laws passed by Parliament in September last year will help farmers fetch more prices in the market.
Close
Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait attends a 'Kisan Mahapanchayat', in Saharanpur district on Sunday.(PTI Photo)
Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait attends a 'Kisan Mahapanchayat', in Saharanpur district on Sunday.(PTI Photo)

1 village, 1 tractor, 15 men and 10 days: Tikait's formula for farmers' protest

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:03 AM IST
The farmers have been sitting at various borders near national capital Delhi since November 26 with the demand that the three central farm laws must be repealed.
Close
A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in California.(AP)
A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in California.(AP)

Covid-19 LIVE: Hundreds of people protest against face mask rules in US state

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:01 AM IST
  • In India, the cases reached 11.19 million and the death toll stands at 157,656. The country has inoculated more than 20 million in the ongoing vaccination drive.
"Is there any estimate of how much gold has been smuggled since he (V Muraleedharan) became a minister?” Pinarayi Vijayan asked.(HT File Photo)
"Is there any estimate of how much gold has been smuggled since he (V Muraleedharan) became a minister?” Pinarayi Vijayan asked.(HT File Photo)

Kerala CM slams union minister amid calls for resignation over smuggling case

PTI, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:29 AM IST
Vijayan claimed that Muraleedharan, on multiple occasions, said the baggage seized by the Customs was not a diplomatic one.
Close
Marimuthu Yoganathan is a bus conductor in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation by profession.(Tweeted by ANI)
Marimuthu Yoganathan is a bus conductor in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation by profession.(Tweeted by ANI)

Tamil Nadu bus conductor who planted 3 lakh saplings in 30 years wins praise

ANI, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:23 AM IST
A known eco activist, Marimuthu Yoganathan has been awarded "Eco Warrior" award by Vice-President of India, 'Unsung Hero' award by wildlife film-maker Mike Pandey and film actor John Abraham in "Timberland" function held in Delhi.
Close
Elections to the 126 assembly constituencies in Assam will be held in three phases. In picture - Congress Party supporters in a rally in Tezpur.(PTI)
Elections to the 126 assembly constituencies in Assam will be held in three phases. In picture - Congress Party supporters in a rally in Tezpur.(PTI)

Congress releases first list for Assam after ‘rumblings’ in unit

By Utpal Parashar, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:13 AM IST
Congress’ state unit chief Ripun Bora to contest from Gohpur constituency.
Close
Trivedi is the latest in the list of TMC leaders, including political heavyweight and minister Suvendu Adhikari and state minister Rajib Banerjee, who switched over to the BJP.(HT Photo)
Trivedi is the latest in the list of TMC leaders, including political heavyweight and minister Suvendu Adhikari and state minister Rajib Banerjee, who switched over to the BJP.(HT Photo)

‘Golden moment’: TMC ex-MP Trivedi joins BJP

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:59 AM IST
Describing his entry into the BJP as a “golden moment”, the 70-year-old took a veiled dig at his former party.
Close
After the Chamoli tragedy, the state government has announced many steps with regard to disaster mitigation in the state. In picture - Border Roads Organisation (BRO) building a valley bridge over the Rishi Ganga River.(PTI)
After the Chamoli tragedy, the state government has announced many steps with regard to disaster mitigation in the state. In picture - Border Roads Organisation (BRO) building a valley bridge over the Rishi Ganga River.(PTI)

A month on, questions remain over cause of Chamoli disaster

By Neeraj Santoshi, Dehradun
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:52 AM IST
While several studies say that the tragedy was man-made, a DRDO body rejected human activity as the immediate cause
Close
The court of chief judicial magistrate AN Dave acquitted 122 persons arrested for being members of the banned outfit SIMI, giving them the benefit of doubt.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The court of chief judicial magistrate AN Dave acquitted 122 persons arrested for being members of the banned outfit SIMI, giving them the benefit of doubt.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

20 years on, court acquits 122 people accused of SIMI links

PTI, Surat
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:42 AM IST
The accused were held in 2001 under UAPA for allegedly being SIMI members and organising a meeting.
Close
The finance department has written that as per rules, the withdrawal from treasury has to be done only up to the extent required for direct payment to vendor/contractor/payee in their respective bank accounts and under no circumstances the money should go the bank accounts of subordinate officials. (REUTERS PHOTO).
The finance department has written that as per rules, the withdrawal from treasury has to be done only up to the extent required for direct payment to vendor/contractor/payee in their respective bank accounts and under no circumstances the money should go the bank accounts of subordinate officials. (REUTERS PHOTO).

Bihar finance dept sounds alert against attempts of irregular fund withdrawal

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:18 AM IST
  • The finance department has written to the top brass of various departments, offices and administration to ensure strict compliance to the finance and treasury rules for maintaining fiscal discipline.
Close
Dharmendra Pradhan, who recently donated <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1 lakh to the Jagannath Temple, requested the Gajapati to act like a bridge between the Centre and state for smooth operation of the fund collection drive. (HT FILE PHOTO).
Dharmendra Pradhan, who recently donated 1 lakh to the Jagannath Temple, requested the Gajapati to act like a bridge between the Centre and state for smooth operation of the fund collection drive. (HT FILE PHOTO).

Union minister proposes collection drive for beautification of Jagannath Temple

By Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:59 PM IST
  • In a letter to Puri king Gajapati Dibya Singha Deb, Union minister for petroleum and natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan urged him to launch a mass fund collection drive to enable contribution by crores of devotees of Lord Jagannath for the development of the Jagannath Temple heritage corridor.
Close
In the second phase of the vaccination drive, 3,005,039 people over 60 years of age and 460,782 between 45 and 59 years with comorbidities have received their first dose of the vaccine.(Reuters)
In the second phase of the vaccination drive, 3,005,039 people over 60 years of age and 460,782 between 45 and 59 years with comorbidities have received their first dose of the vaccine.(Reuters)

Cumulative Covid-19 vaccinations cross 20-million mark: Government

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:35 PM IST
India has administered 20,662,073 doses of the vaccine so far of which 6,972,859 healthcare workers have received the first dose and 3,522,671 have got the second dose.
Close
Anurag Thakur said the government welcomes innovation and new technology, but with caution, so that citizens get due protection and national security is ensured.(ANI)
Anurag Thakur said the government welcomes innovation and new technology, but with caution, so that citizens get due protection and national security is ensured.(ANI)

Issue of national security key as govt decides on cryptocurrency, says Thakur

By Rajeev Jayaswal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:36 AM IST
  • Cryptocurrency is, however, not legally banned and the government is in the process of enacting a law on this matter.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits a stall at an exhibition during the Combined Commanders Conference in Kevadia on Saturday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits a stall at an exhibition during the Combined Commanders Conference in Kevadia on Saturday. (ANI)

Need to develop military into ‘future force’: PM Modi at top commanders’ meet

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:17 PM IST
  • The PM asked the three services to rid themselves of legacy systems and practices that are no longer relevant.
Close
The desk would provide support to file cases in offences related to violence or discrimination.(PTI File Photo )
The desk would provide support to file cases in offences related to violence or discrimination.(PTI File Photo )

Transgender help desk set up at police station in Hyderabad

PTI, Hyderabad
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:09 PM IST
Noting that the idea of the help desk came from the community itself during a meeting 10 days back, police said the entire credit for the initiative must go to the community.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP