In order to save elephants, the Maharashtra Forest Department has banned their entry into municipal corporation areas in the state. The order was passed on December 8 by the principal chief conservator of forests, Sarjan Bhagat, after a presentation was made by members of the People for Animals (PFA) to forest minister Sudhir Mungatiwar and other forest officers.
Poonam Mahajan, MP and trustee, PFA, said: “We are grateful to Mr Mungatiwar and the forest department for this positive step. The hon’ble Minister has truly understood the plight of elephants.Elephants are wild animals and crowded cities are no place for them. The order rightly points out that elephants in cities are a risk to themselves and people. This is certainly a step in a positive direction. We are working on other wildlife issues in Maharashtra as well. Our aim is that people must understand and respect animals and the environment.”
According to Ambika Hiranandani, animal rights lawyer and member of PFA, getting the order passed is only half the battle won as to have a Maharashtra free from elephants in captivity is the long-term goal.
“There are so many elephants forced to perform in circuses and held in zoos under horrific circumstances. Elephants are pricked at the sensitive spot behind their ears and made submissive. What could possibly justify such treatment,” asked Hiranandani.