A check-up done on elephant Sunder, who is kept inside a company's premises at Kolhapur, revealed that he suffered a massive wound on his left hind limb, as a result of constantly being tied with heavy chains.
The examination was done by Dr Sasindra Dev, Forest Veterinary officer, Konni, Kerala, who was called in for issuing a health and fitness certificate for Sunder before he was transported to Bannelghatta Biological Park in Bangalore. Sunder has to be moved before the monsoon, from Kolhapur as per Bombay High Court orders. The Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Kolhapur houses and treats displaced, injured and orphaned wildlife rescued in urban areas.
The examination report has been submitted to the Chief Conservator of forest, Kolhapur. The report states, "Sunder is in a remarkable heath condition, 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 further states that the transportation should be done observing all the rules and guidelines issued from competent authorities. The wound should be cleaned dressed and bandaged before and during transportation and pain killers should be given as prescribed by veterinarian.
Forest Department officials under whose supervision the elephant is kept, admitted of Sunder being injured but added that after proper medication and treatment, he is recovering.
People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had petitioned in the high court highlighting the ill treatment being meted to Sunder while in the custody of MLA Vinay Kore. PETA had pleaded to the court that despite two orders from the central and state authorities, the forest department had not initiated any action even after a year. This was opposed by Kore, which was turned down by the court.
Kore has challenged the order of the high court in the Supreme Court, whose hearing is scheduled for May 29. On that day, the Bangalore rehabilitation centre was told to clarify the facilities available for Sunder there. However, the court has refused to stay the transportation from Kolhapur.