GUWAHATI: After the State Government's efforts since December last to bring back nine Assam elephants trapped in various temples in Tamil Nadu, a special team is leaving for Tamil Nadu tomorrow.
Principal Chief Conservator and Chief Wildlife Warden MK Yadav said, "Nine Assam elephants engaged in various temples in Tamil Nadu came to our notice in December last. Since December last, we have been communicating with the Tamil Nadu Government to bring back the pachyderms. Even today, we mailed all documents for correspondence from either side to the Additional Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu. He is the in-charge of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. Following a directive from the Chief Minister, a team comprising forest officials Hirdesh Mishra, Dr Kushal Kumar Sarma, Morigaon SP Arpana Natarajan and Dr Rupjyoti Kakati will leave for Tamil Nadu tomorrow. The nine elephants trapped in the southern state are from Golaghat and Tinsukia districts. The owners of the elephants leased out the pachyderms to the temples for a certain period. However, the owners have not brought the elephants back to the state even after the expiry of the term.
The condition of the Assam elephants is pathetic there."
Yadava said the government couldn't bring the nine elephants back as the Tamil Nadu Government did not 'cooperate'.
The Tamil Nadu Forest Department will have to take the elephants under its possession from the temples to hand them over to the Assam Forest Department.
Interestingly, the Tamil Nadu Government manages the trust of a temple where one of the nine elephants named 'Joymala' is kept. The Tamil Nadu Government requested the Assam Government to bear all expenses for bringing the nine elephants to Assam.
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