To ensure that captive elephants in Bihar were not ill-treated by their owners to make them work harder, as was done to a 30-year-old pachyderm that died recently due to the cruel treatment, a Delhi-based NGO has petitioned the wildlife warden of that state to take strict action against those who engage in such activities.
The NGO, Wildlife SOS, claimed that the 30-year-old female elephant, Laxmi, was beaten and starved to death by its owners.
The NGO, which is engaged in rescuing and rehabilitating wild animals in distress, said the incident at Motihari in Bihar highlighted the harsh reality of cruelty and neglect that privately-owned captive elephants suffered.
It further claimed that Laxmi was poached from the wild as a calf and chained and tortured for years, adding that the animal was later sold to the elephant traffickers.
“Years of abuse and malnourishment had left the animal’s body fragile and severely weakened and its bones brittle and compromised. The skin had sagged over its bony frame and the legs caved inward, no longer able to support the weight of its body,” the NGO said.
It added that despite the elephant being in such a weak condition, its owners had allegedly attacked it with sharp spears, bull-hooks and sticks to force it to work. Unable to bear the suffering, the animal had collapsed and died, the NGO said.
The owners of the animal had fled the scene before forest department officials, who were informed by the NGO, reached the spot.