Jharkhand and Andaman & Nicobar negotiate to transport 5 elephants down to National Park Betla
Port Blair,August10:Five elephants are to be brought down to National Park Betla. Negotiations are on with the authorities in Andaman & Nicobar. The PTR authorities here are positive about this.
Sources said PTR has written to forest development corporation Andaman & Nicobar in this connection. The forest development corporation Andaman & Nicobar has 20 elephants and these elephants are idle there as the corporation has been shut down there.
The elephants used to ferry logs of heavy woods there. The ferrying of woods has stopped and the corporation is closed down. These 20 elephants there are a big drain on state exchequer. These are to be distributed in the larger interest of these elephants first.
Sources said PTR is keen to have five elephants from there. Among the five there will be one female and four male.
If the deal is struck between Jharkhand and Andaman & Nicobar then these 5 elephants are to be brought first to Kolkata by ship.
From Kolkata to Betla these will be travelled down by road.
Chief conservator of forest cum-field director PTR MP Singh has confirmed this saying the PTR has sent in a letter to Andaman & Nicobar in this regard and reply from that end is awaited here. Singh expressed hope that it will materialise.
Sources said a whopping Rs 50 lakh is expected to come as expenditure on this travelling of 5 elephants from Andaman & Nicobar to Betla in PTR.
Andaman & Nicobar has all 20 trained elephants.
PTR is now left with just two female elephants Juhi and Rakhi after the death of Anarkali.
It is only Juhi that does ride for tourists. Its age and health both are getting unfit for ride of the tourists.
The five elephants on their arrival will add to this number in National Park Betla.
Asked that elephants of Andman & Nicobar environs may find this place in PTR too hot humid and strange field director MP Singh said these 5 we believe will find this place and PTR equally friendly.
As these elephants are trained ones (read Paltoo) there is the need of their mahout to be here for months to make these five adjust to the new surroundings.
Sources said elephants take command from their mahout and any change of guard comes as a rude shock to them.
Further it is the mahout who knows well the food habit of the elephant that he so rides and controls them.
Sources said Andman & Nicobar authorities have also bought elephants from Bihar’s Sonepur fair.
Sources said PTR was earlier planning to bring in two elephants from Karnataka but this proposal was cold shelved and now Andaman & Nicobar is being approached for five elephants for this PTR here.