India’s first elephant sanctuary would soon come up in a fenced forested space at Bengaluru as an extention of Bannerghatta National Park, a rights group declared on Thursday.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Karnataka, have teamed up to create the 49.5-hectare sanctuary using the solar electric fence.
Meanwhile, the fence and a state-of-the-art emergency corral made of steel pipes are under construction and are designed by the PETA consultant and elephant expert Carol Buckley reportedly.
According to a statement by PETA, the vast expanse of the sanctuary within the Biological Park will allow the elephants to move about freely, bathe in ponds, and socialise without being restricted by chains.
Manilal Valliyate of the PETA India said, “The Bannerghatta Biological Park is being modified which will allow elephants to live naturally. The sanctuary is home to 15-year-old Sunder, who was liberated by the Supreme Court in 2014 from a harsh life at the Jyotiba temple in Maharashtra. It now houses 15 elephants.”
According to reports, local caregivers in the principles of “protected contact”, a method of ensuring safe interaction between human beings and elephants by keeping them separated by a sturdy barrier and using positive reinforcement techniques instead of the age-old routine of physical punishment to manage the elephants, will be trained by Margaret Whittaker, who designed the elephant and mahout training facilities and safety measures.
However, as per reports, PETA CEO Poorva Joshipura said, “We hope the sanctuary will act as a model for elephant sanctuaries throughout Asia.”