In a heart-warming tale, 52 camels rescued by the People for Animals (PFA) are back home in Rajasthan, after a gruelling journey from Hyderabad.
The animals had been smuggled to Hyderabad and allegedly tortured for joyrides and illegally slaughtered for meat as well.
With no other option, the animals had to be transported by road in trucks from Hyderabad to Rajasthan.
Speaking to TNM about the journey, Amit Deol from PFA said, "We began the journey on November 27, after loading four camels into each truck. Several people accompanied the animals."
PFA had begun transporting the animals after securing an order from the Nampally court in Hyderabad.
"Since we had a court order, we had no issues at checkposts, but we had to stop every 80km. This was to ensure that the camels got food and water, and were provided proper medical care," Amit said.
According to reports, the two NGOs spent around Rs 8 lakh personally on transporting the animals, besides another Rs 5 lakh for their treatment, as the government did not pitch in. The animals finally reached Rajasthan on Saturday.
"The animals are presently in Sirohi, an area bordering Rajasthan and Gujarat, where PFA has a massive shelter. All our rescued camels go there. We will take care of their health and all medical expenses from now, and make sure they lead a happy life," Amit added.
It was on November 10, that the Balapur police under the Rachakonda Commissionerate, seized 97 camels and arrested four persons, as they were planning to slaughter the animals.
The case had exposed a nexus involving the export of camel meat at the outskirts of Hyderabad, where the animals were slaughtered and processed, before being sent to exporters.
The police had booked a case under Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deal with 'mischief by killing or maiming animal'.
Following this, the police, with the help of the veterinary department of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), shifted the camels to a centre in Shaheen Nagar.
However, since the camels had been stuffed into trucks and travelled to Hyderabad in highly unhygenic conditions, 32 camels died of disease and exhaustion, following which they were shifted to a goshala in Pedda Amberpet.
According to reports, the humped mammals were then handed over to the Greater Hyderabad Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GHSPCA) and People for Animal (PFA) on November 28.
Some of the camels also died during treatment at a private farmhouse in Hayathnagar, and only 52 camels survived in total.