Kerala now has an ID card and DNA database for all its captive elephants

In November, the Supreme Court had directed 17 states to conduct a census of elephants in captivity by December 2018. This was in response to public interest litigation (PIL) to implement the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1960, which was meant to protect elephants in captivity. The Kerala government, in a project conducted along with the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), has gone one step further.
The government not only conducted a census of the then-521 elephants in captivity but also conducted a DNA fingerprinting and created a DNA bank and Unique Identification Cards for all captive elephants in the states. On Tuesday, the RGCB handed over the DNA bank, a preliminary version of the ID cards as well as a report to Forest Department’s Chief Wildlife Warden PC Kesavan.