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Owners oppose health check of elephants

THRISSUR: The Kerala elephant owners’ federation has protested the reported move of the forest department to conduct health checks of the captive elephants in the state. The federation general secretary P Sasikumar said the department had not taken the owners into confidence. He said the department officials had collected blood samples from the captive elephants a couple of months back. Even though the forest officials had then claimed that the samples were being collected for assessing the health of the elephants, we were not informed of the results of the tests, Sasikumar alleged.
According to him the forest department’s latest move was part of a design to stop the practice of parading the elephants during the festivals in Kerala.
Interestingly, the forest department have initiated measures for the health check of all the captive elephants, which are above the age of 39, in the state in the wake of widespread reports of deaths of elephants before achieving their full life span.
According to the forest department officials an expert committee constituted by the chief wildlife warden has found that prolonged malnutrition, intense overwork and inadequate rest cause physiological and psychological stress to these animals, which predispose them to many diseases. The panel has also recommended complete hematological and serum biochemistry
analyzes of the elephants, as mere physical examination may not fully unravel their health issues.

Date: 24 oct 2018
Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/owners-oppose-health-check-of-elephants/articleshow/66346179.cms