Source: The Hindu
CHENNAI, INDIA, JUNE 22, 2001: The poor condition of elephants kept in many temples in the state has brought into focus the need for the forest department to intervene, according to wildlife enthusiasts. Poor maintenance, cramped rooms, lack of veterinary care, wrong diet and exploitation by their masters are some of the problems the elephants face. According to Forest Department sources, nearly 45 to 50 temples have their own elephants. Most of the temples keep only one animal each. As the elephants are social animals, confining them alone is also considered mistreatment. Regular screening for diseases, supervising maintenance of elephants, health care for mahouts, insurance for the elephants and his master are some of the suggestions for better maintenance.