Elephants will soon get the ‘National Heritage Animal’ tag. Elephants have symbolized India to worlds beyond its borders for centuries, though they have also been mercilessly poached for their priceless tusks, the Centre is all set to declare the pachyderm a “national heritage animal” hoping that the tag would help in conserving the animal in a big way.
“We will soon declare the elephant as a national heritage animal, as it has been part of our heritage since ages. We need to give the same degree of importance to elephants, as it is given to tigers in order to protect the big animal,” union environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh said.
In the first ever report of the Elephant Task Force titled Gajah — Securing the Future for Elephants in India, submitted to the union ministry of environment and forests, it has been recommended to rationalize boundaries of elephant reserves.
“Elephant conservation requires protection of the habitat and the recent activities including mining are putting pressure on the habitat. Over the years, more than 400 people have died due to elephant attacks, and over 100 elephants have been killed. There is a need for renewed approach and mission.
A study of the habitat will be made and presently while it will be slow-go areas, it will gradually become no-go areas over time,” said Dr Mahesh Rangarajan, environmental historian and professor at department of history, Delhi University, who heads the Elephant Task Force.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Tuesday said the elephant would soon be declared a national heritage animal in order to step up measures for its protection.The Elephant Task Force Tuesday submitted its report to the ministry. There are about 25,000 elephants in the country with 3,500 in captivity. India is home to 60 percent of elephants in Asia.
Source: DNA, mybangalore.com &bombaynews.net