news Monday, January 12, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 12, 2015 | 6.15 pm IST On Sunday, a veterinary doctor was crushed to death by an elephant that had run amok. Dr. Gopakumar, 45, who went alone to tranquilise the elephant, , was killed by the same elephant on Sunday. He succumbed to deep wounds in his chest where the animal had trampled him. His death has been reported in the media as just another case of a doctor falling victim to an untamed elephant. In the wake of Dr.Gopakumar ‘s death, a Thrissur based elephant Welfare NGO, has alleged that none of the rules related to elephant welfare has been followed in Kerala. NGO Heritage Animal Task Force (HATF) has called for more vigil and asked the government to ensure that only certified doctors are allowed to transquilise elephants. The NGO says that only nine doctors in Kerala have got certification for tranquilising elephants, but at present more than two dozens of veterinary doctors in 14 districts of Kerala continue to tranquilise captive elephants at festival centres and at public roads. HATF has also said that as per the guidelines any person who proceeds to tranquilise a captive elephant must be accompanied by another veterinary doctor, a norm that has apparently not been followed in the recent tragic incident. HATF secretary V.K. Venkitachalam, claimed that authorized elephant squad which functions under the direct leadership of the Chief Veterinary Officer of each District only has the right to use tranquilising gun as well as the tranquilising medicine. “Now the rules are being violated, that doctors working under animal husbandry department also use these things” he said. He has also asserted that there are 3 dozens of private groups of private elephant contractors who act as Elephant Squad and use the banned weapons like capture belt, iron poles and other sharp edged weapons for controlling and chaining captive elephants whenever they ran amok Tweet Read : Kerala's elephant fetish and the brutality behind it all

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