In a shocking report, it is being hinted that owners of captive elephants in Kerala could have links with ivory smuggling in the state.
Manoramaonline reports that elephant owners who obtain the Forest Departmentâ€™s permission to trim the animalsâ€™ tusks periodically later sell them to ivory sculptors for several lakh rupees, the department has found out.
The report says that the forest department has no records of these ivory trimmings.
It was also alleged that former minister Ganesh Kumar, who is also the owner of some captive elephants has threatened department officials who are investigating the issue.
The investigation was based on a revelation by an ivory smuggler Rajasekharan Nair, who was arrested in Thiruvananthapuram last week.
Manoramaonline further reports that as per Nairâ€™s claim, the ivory sculptors prefer the tusks of captive elephants as they are fairer than that of wild elephants.
Sculptures made of captive elephantsâ€™ tusks have a special sheen which fetch them a better price.
The tusks of captive elephants in the state are usually trimmed in every 4 years.