RTI Reply - Environment Ministry allows West Bengal to capture wild elephants
Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Environment Ministry gave the permission for the capture of four wild elephants which were allegedly blamed for destroying the crops in southern part of West Bengal. It has been claimed by some environmentalists that granting such permission is against the wildlife laws.
Section 11 of the Wildlife Protection Act (amendment 1993) states that no captured animal shall be kept in captivity unless the Chief Wildlife Warden is satisfied that such an animal cannot be rehabilitated in the wild. Environmentalists have argued that such random capturing of elephants is no solution to the problem as it does not reduce the conflict. By disturbing the herd structure, it may lead to more conflict.
It has been pointed out that the letter of the Chief Wildlife Warden states that the wild elephants should be captured because West Bengal is running out of captive elephants. The tendering process for the capture of the wild elephants has begun in West Bengal.
Incidents of conflicts between the human beings and animals are not uncommon in areas which lie in the buffer zones of the National parks. There is a need to redefine the ways management of the man-animal conflict and evolve strategies to reduce the same.