Snake Sathish reports that four elephants were recently captured by the Karnataka Forest Department and taken to the camp at Dubare.
Dubare is an elephant camp in a tourist zone. Captive elephants there give rides and do tricks. People who visit the camp can pay a fee and take part in bathing the elephants.
On our last visit, the kraals for the newly captured elephants were separated from the tourist camp by a wire fence. Tourists were discouraged from visiting the kraals.
When we shot the documentary, forest officials suggested that they were opposed to continually capturing more and more elephants. As one said, captive elephants have no jobs in modern India. Yet they are very expensive to maintain.
The population of captive elephants in Anechowkur grew from 11 in 2012 to 35 in 2014. As more animals are captured, it seems that these operations remain an important part of the government’s plan to deal with human-elephant conflicts, even though few officials actively advocate it.
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Dr. Thomas Grant
Professor of Journalism at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College