Karnataka denies Andhra’s request for supply of elephants

Speaking to the press in Bengaluru, Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre emphasised the importance of protecting Karnataka’s elephant population

Bengaluru: In a recent development, Karnataka’s Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre has declined a request from the Andhra Pradesh government to supply elephants for the state’s forest departments. The decision comes amid growing concerns over the conservation and well-being of Karnataka’s elephant population.   

Speaking to the press in Bengaluru, Khandre emphasised the importance of protecting Karnataka’s elephant population. “We have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of our elephants.

Given the current challenges we face regarding habitat conservation and human-elephant conflict, it is not feasible to send elephants to Andhra Pradesh at this time,” he stated. 

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The Andhra Pradesh government had approached Karnataka with a request for elephants to assist in forest patrols and to participate in various ceremonial events. The request highlighted the need for trained elephants to aid in managing the state’s forest resources and wildlife.  

Karnataka is home to a significant population of elephants, particularly in the regions of Mysuru, Kodagu, and Bannerghatta. The state has been actively involved in various conservation programs to protect these majestic creatures. Efforts include habitat restoration, anti-poaching measures, and initiatives to reduce human-elephant conflicts.   

Minister Khandre cited several reasons for denying the request:

The minister emphasised the ongoing conservation efforts within the state, noting that Karnataka’s elephant population requires dedicated resources and attention. Karnataka has been grappling with human-elephant conflicts, particularly in regions where agricultural activities intersect with elephant habitats. Reducing these conflicts requires maintaining a stable population of elephants within the state.  Transporting elephants over long distances can be stressful and detrimental to their health. The minister underscored the need to prioritise the welfare of the animals. 

Stringent regulations and ethical considerations surrounding the transfer of wildlife between states. The minister highlighted the importance of adhering to these guidelines to protect the elephants.  

Officials from the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department expressed their disappointment over the decision. “We respect Karnataka’s decision and understand the importance of their conservation efforts. We will explore alternative solutions to meet our needs,” said a senior official from the department.

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