Kerala to burn ivory worth crores as ‘worthless’

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala wants to burn ivory which is worth many crores of rupees, but the wildlife department chaps insist that it has zero value. They want to light a bonfire of elephant tusks to ‘protect jumbos’.

Kerala Wildlife department  proposes to set on fire a huge pile of ivory in its stock to prevent wily smugglersfrom getting their grimy paws on it  in future.

Tonnes of elephant tusk, either seized from smugglers or collected from dead jumbos, have been kept in various centres of the department across the state.

A top official said if this huge stock would fall into the hands of smugglers in the future, it would boost the illegal ivory carving in the country. One way of avoiding that possibility is to destroy the stock.ivory

V Gopinathan, chief wildlife warden told PTI “It is just a proposal and we have not taken any final decision on it. We are doing this in the interest of protecting elephants.”

Elephant poaching is by and large on the decline in the state and stoppage of the availability of ivory would further reduce the trend, he said.

“As per Wildlife Act, sale and carving of ivory is a crime. So the ivory in our stock has zero value even though it may be worth many crores of rupees in the illegal market,” he said.

He said if the proposal is finalised, Kerala might become the first state in the country to destroy ivory.

“I think no other state has destroyed ivory so far. It is very rare even in the global scenario. But, many states have destroyed the horns of rhinos and such wildlife trophies,” he said.

The department personnel would burn ivory if the department gets the permission from the state government. On the number of elephants in the state, he said the sprawling forests in Kerala were home to around 6000 jumbos.

“We have around 550-600 captive elephants and around 6000 wild elephants. It seemed that the number of captive elephants is not increasing. Most probably the state will be short of captive jumbos in the next 25-30 years,” he said.

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Posted by on August 5, 2013. Filed under India,Wildlife. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Kerala to burn ivory worth crores as ‘worthless’

  1. Jacinta

    August 5, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Why destroy something as fine as Ivory. It makes absolutely no sense. Government should have licensed carvers make fine things and then sell them at a premium! Too much sentimentality!

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