The Madras High Court on Friday said that the State must ensure that in near future no elephant is taken into captivity except those for the purpose of treatment of such elephants, if found unable to support itself in the wild.
A PIL was filed by activist Rangarajan Narasimhan over the alleged inhumane treatment of captive elephants kept in temples across the State.
The Bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu issued a directions in such matter.
Government counsel said that there are 32 elephants in temples and 31 elephants privately held, in addition to this 64 elephants are under the Forest Department.
Elsa Foundation, pointed out that the State forest department in its report submitted to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in January 2019 had claimed that 86 elephants were in the custody of temples and private individuals.
It had been reported that only 63 elephants were in the custody of temples and private individuals.
Thus, going by the figures, 23 elephants were missing.
The Court said that the State should furnished to the Ministry of Environment and Forests last five years report regarding the number of elephants and other material connected to elephants.
Court adjourned the matter to October 21.