By Anjali Lukose
The city’s only keeper of elephants could soon lose his ownership certificate. After issuing offence reports against him, the Thane (territorial) division of the forest department has written to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests in Bihar, requesting to revoke the ownership certificate.
Shubhashankar Pandey has two elephants — Lakshmi (45) and Rupa (30). Despite the department’s October 2013 directive, which prohibits the entry of elephants into Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane regions, Lakshmi was spotted in Dahisar and recently at a temple function in Powai.
The letter to PCCF states that elephant owner is not following the terms and conditions laid down for owning elephants and is going against the directive issued by additional principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife).
“We have asked PCCF-Bihar to revoke Pandey’s ownership certificate for bringing the elephant into the city against our orders as well as for violating the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001. The moves comes after complaints from several NGOs and cognisance taken by the forest department on several occasions,” said K P Singh, chief conservator of forests and field director, Thane (territorial).