Yeddyurappa's elephant gift sparks row
Thiruvananthapuram (PTI): Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa landed in a controversy for gifting a elephant to a temple in Kerala with animal rights activists alleging violation of wildlife rules including that the person donating a pachyderm should be declared "pauper" by law.
Kerala Chief Wildlife Warden J K Tewari has asked the Divisional Forest officer in Kannur to look into the matter and submit a report following a complaint by animal rights campaigners,
Tewari said neither had he received any formal request from Yeddyurappa for donation of an elephant to the Raja Rajeswara temple nor did he give the permission.
A report had been sought to find out if any junior level official had given the permission, he said.
According to Thrissur-based Elephant Lovers Association (ELA), the donation of the elephant involved serious violation of the central Wildlife laws as well as the Captive Elephants Maintenance Rules of Kerala.
"The rule clearly states that as many as 12 conditions are to be met before transfer of the ownership of an elephant. These include a provision that the person who transfers an elephant should be declared pauper by law," ELA general secretary Venkitachalam told PTI today.
As far as we know, none of these conditions are met in the present case," he added.
The National Wildlife Board of which the prime minister is the chairperson had taken a decision in 2005 disallowing heads of government and the administration from gifting elephants after a row erupted when former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had donated an elephant to the Guruvayoor temple, he said.