A long row of elephants enjoying a nutritious meal including fresh fruits and vegetables. That was one of the scenes at the annual Chitwan Elephant Festival, held right after Christmas. Animal Nepal gives kudos to the organisors of the Sauraha festival for taking up its suggestion to organise the picnic. (Photo credit Nepalmountainnews.com)
Animal Nepal since a number of years has requested the organisers to introduce humane activities, that are truly fun for elephants. Although the regular games took place as well this year, the picnic was added to create a more relaxing activity for the elephants. Interestingly, compared to the games, the picnic was most appreciated by the visitors.
The regular games such as football, racing and beauty contest, tend to create stress for the animals, and visitors have complained about the use of ankush and toxic paint. During a meeting with representatives ofAnimal Rights Club Nepal, the organisers greed to introduce certain welfare standards this time.
At the picnic, security personnel had a hard time controlling the crowd. “I had only seen elephant races. It was great to also see them feast,” said an elated onlooker Hom Kumari Neupane, suggesting that such events should be given continuity in future.
“The elephants are like our friends and this picnic has managed to send a strong message that they should be loved and provided with proper care,” said veterinarian Kamal Gaire at CNP.
Animal Nepal last month send this letter to the organisers to request them to replace the games with humane activities.