An expanse of forested space is now open to 15 elephants of the Bannerghatta Biological Park. With the installation of a solar-powered electric fence, the first of its kind in the State, the herd can roam, bathe in ponds and socialise in the 49.5-hectare forest without the restriction of their shackles and their mahouts. The fence is sponsored by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, which raised more than Rs. 1 crore for its installation. “The elephants are absolutely free to roam without human interference, and will be free of tussles with other wild elephants,” said Manilal Valliyate, India Director of Veterinary Affairs.
In the fenced-off area, human interaction is restricted to specially-built walls where the elephants can be viewed from outside, while emergency ‘corrals’ have been built to detain elephants in musth, or to treat them when there are ill, said PETA.