The Assam government said on Thursday that since 2006, 97 elephants have been sent to other states mainly for “religious activities”, with many pachyderms having “exceeded” their lease period.
The elephants are sent to other states for two to three years, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnakata, West Bengal, Haryana, Odisha and Jharkhand, Environment and Forest Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said. meeting.
Responding to a question by Congress leader Debabrata Saikia, Patowary said the captive elephants were sent from Assam’s Doomdoma Forest Division.
The Assam government has been in touch with other states on the issue, he said.
“… From time to time letters are written to the respective states to return the elephants,” the minister said.
Responding to a question by Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed, Patowary said 80 animals have been taken from the Assam State Zoo, Guwahati, to different states between 2012 and 2022 under the animal exchange programme.
These include rhinoceroses, royal Bengal tigers, gibbons and leopard cats.
During the same period, the state acquired 83 animals from different zoos.
Minister Patowary also said that the state zoo had 1,196 animals here as on March 31, 2022, including 551 mammals, 381 birds and 264 reptiles.
Among them, 532 are endangered species, he added.