Wildlife activists on Wednesday urged the government and the tourism industry to improve the conditions of safari elephants being used in various national parks in the country.
On the occasion of the World Elephant Day, Elephant Watch Nepal (EWN), a loose network of both national and international groups of animal rights campaigners, drew attention of the policy makers and tourism entrepreneurs’ towards the deteriorating
living state of the working elephants that are beaten, overloaded, undernourished, and kept in chains in simple sheds when off duty.
“Elephants used for rides suffer greatly and deserve better care and management,” a press statement issued by EWN on Wednesday said. The EWN has also urged the authorities concerned and tourism entrepreneurs to regulate the elephant safari industry, develop welfare and management standards, decide on a maximum
number of working elephants in each location and stop the smuggling of elephants from India into Nepal for tourism purposes.
According to a report made public by the Chitwan National Park (CNP) on Tuesday, there are around 140 wild elephants, including 100 in the Bardiya National Park, four in Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve and 35 in Chitwan and Parsa corridors. Ramesh Thapa, assistant conservation officer of the CNP, said the number of elephants in the corridors is constant in the past three years. He added that the number of elephants was counted on the basis of a research.