April 13, 2017
INR 1,00,000 reward offered for nabbing elephant tusk thief in Thrissur
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the HSI/India tip line +91 7674-922044
Humane Society International/India is offering a reward of 1,00,000 INR (about $1,500 US) for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person responsible for stealing four tusks from the Sankarankulangara devaswom, Kanattukara.
The case: An article published in Deccan Chronical (Thrissur edition), dated 8 April, 2017, reported that four tusks were stolen from the devaswom. These tusks, reportedly weighing 700kg, belonged to two elephants who died nearly two decades ago.
Sumanth Bindhumadhav, wildlife campaign manager of HSI/India, said, “The ivory trade in India is growing rampant as it is and the last thing we need now is for ivory from religious institutions, government inventory and captive facilities to contribute to this destructive industry. In the past, thieves have stolen ivory from the stockpile of the Forest Department itself and sold it in the black market. This particular case emphasizes the need for a central government policy on stockpile management across private and government holdings so stolen ivory can be identified immediately. An arrest and conviction in this case will act as a stark reminder to everyone that the law enforcement agencies and the judiciary treats the matter of wildlife trade as a serious offence. We urge anyone with information about this offence to talk to us.”
Despite the prohibition on trade of ivory in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, elephants continue to be poached for their tusks, with captive-owned elephants becoming a significant source of raw ivory. The Forest Department must have a more stringent auditing system to take an account of existing ivory, seized stocks and ivory from dead captive elephants, to effectively enforce the trade ban and curb instances of poaching.
HSI/India has been working to mitigate human-animal conflict issues in the country through community engagement, public education and awareness campaigns, and sensitization training of the Forest Department. In the past, HSI/India has been successful in identifying and arresting the culprits of a Kerala dog bestiality case, a New Delhi Green Park Metro dog stabbing case, the puppies burnt alive in Hyderabad and other cases of animal cruelty.
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