The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the state government to transfer elephant Sunder, kept inside a company premises in Kolhapur, to a rehabilitation centre in Bangalore by June 15.
The apex court gave the direction while rejecting a Special Leave Petition filed by Kolhapur MLA Vinay Kore challenging the Bombay high court order directing the transfer of the tortured animal before monsoon.
Deputy conservator of forest (Kolhapur) Vijay Shelke said, "The tentative transfer schedule is between May 31 and June 10 and a team from the Kerala forest department, which has expertise in handling elephants and transfers, has been requested to move Sunder."
Sunder will be moved in a special truck which will have facilities for food and water. Shelke said, "The team of experts will handle the elephant with care. Pre-transfer check-ups and other handover formalities have already been completed."
A check-up done recently had revealed that Sunder had a massive wound on his left hind limb, a result of being tied up with heavy chains round the clock. The examination was done by Dr Sasindra Dev, forest veterinary officer, Konni, Kerala, who was called in for issuing a health and fitness certificate to Sunder before he was transported to Bannelghatta Biological Park in Bangalore.
The examination report stated, "Sunder is remarkably healthy, active and free from any external signs of musth. Although there is a large wound caused by poor management, elephant is fit for transportation from Kolhapur to Bangalore under veterinary supervision and guidance."
The report also said the transportation should be done observing all the rules and guidelines issued by competent authorities. The wound should be cleaned, dressed and bandaged before and during transportation and painkillers should be given as prescribed by veterinarian, it added.
People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had petitioned in the high court highlighting the ill treatment being meted out to Sunder while in Kore's custody. PETA had pleaded with the court that despite two orders from the central and state authorities, the forest department had not initiated any action even after a year. Kore had opposed this, which the court then turned down.