Elephants at zoo locations in India

39 zoo locations has kept elephants in India
There is presently 101 (29,61) living elephants in zoo locations in India (in this database)

Region: India is in this database included in asiaOther regions
Wild elephants:

India has about 27,312 (min. 26000, max. 28000) wild elephants. Source:Baskaran et al. (2011)

Location holdings:

39 zoo locations has kept 149 elephants in India

(Database tables with collection of elephants further down on the page)

Elephants in zoo locations101 (29,61) living48 (14,27) dead
Sex ratio and
Management:
 Male  29 / 101 
 29%
 Female  61 / 101 
 60%
 Free contact  87 / 101 
 86%
 Protected contact  0 / 101  0%
 No contact  0 / 101  0%
 Unknown contact  14 / 101 
 14%
 wild  0 / 101  0%



1840: Elephants need for timber extraction were secured from various sources within India, including transfers .from the army Commissariat, as well as from the wild as was done by the Bengal government Khedda establishment which was created in Dacca in the early 1840. (Krishnamurthy 2002)

2000: A survey by Project Elephant in 2000 found a total of 3,400 captive elephants: 2,540 privately owned, 190 in temples, 480 with forest departments, almost 150 in zoos and circuses.

2001: India’s first elephant reserve was created in Jharkhand in 2001 under Project Elephant.
2005: India has around 21,300 elephants in 11 elephant ranges in India, according to the last census in 2005. The country also has 4,000 captive elephants, 800 of which are in Kerala. (Cheeran et al)
2007: 27, 700 elephants (census 2007-2008)

2009: A decision was made to relocate elephants from Zoos and circuses to forest elephants camps in more natural surrondings.

2011: According to the 2007 census, there are 27,669 to 27,715 elephants in its various reserves and habitats as against 25,604 in 1993.

2017: According to the country’s first ever synchronised Elephant Census conducted in 2017, there are 27,312 elephants across 23 states. According to the report, released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on August 12, Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054). In 2012, there were 1,559 elephants in Uttarakhand, and their population rose to 1,839 by 2017.
A maximum of 14,005 tuskers are in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra followed by 9,305-9,355 in northeastern regions with Assam having the highest number of 5,281 pachyderms. Eastern states, including Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh have 2,633 elephants while in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh their population is 1,726, the data said.

2019: A committee was formed to prepare a National Elephant Action Plan.

2020-10-05: The Union environment ministry has proposed an amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 to accord legal status to elephant reserves and corridors on the lines of tiger reserves. With the proposed amendment, the ministry proposes to have a similar legal framework for 30 elephant reserves across 15 states and statutory status for Project Elephant. India is home to about 30,000 elephants, or 60% of the global Asian elephant population.

Human elephant conflict (HEC)


Home to ca 60 percent of Asias elephants, India has the highest death rate from human-elephant conflict, with 200-250 people and 100 elephants killed annually. Habitat fragmentation, poaching of tusked males, and patchy forest law enforcement are problems, but numbers are rebounding.

2020: According to data shared with the Lok Sabha on September 23, close to 2,300 people were killed by elephants in the past five years until 2019, which was 10 times the number killed by tigers. Also, 400 elephants were killed by poachers or through poisoning by local residents. The Lok Sabha reply revealed that at least 433 people have been killed across West Bengal between April 2014 and September 2019. In Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattishgarh, the death toll was 447, 391 and 329, respectively, during the period.

Captive elephants




2000: A survey by Project Elephant in 2000 found a total of 3,400 captive elephants: 2,540 privately owned, 190 in temples, 480 with forest departments, almost 150 in zoos and circuses. According to R. Sukumar, chairman of the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the premier Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, 3,500 of the estimated 14,000 captive Asian elephants can be found in India.

Many of them in temples and camps where they were used as live tractors for timber logging. Today those elephants are often used as tourist riding elephants in previous teak forests that has been transfered to protected areas.

In 2009, a decision was made to relocate elephants from Zoos and circuses to forest elephants camps in more natural surrondings.


2009: According to Dr B K Gupta, evaluation and monitoring officer of CZA, India had 140 elephants in 26 zoos and 16 circuses as on March 31 2009. Of these, Mysore and Trivandrum had the largest number at 9 and 8 respectively.

2009: According to the report "Captive Elephants in Zoo", (Varma, S., Sujata, S.R., Sarma, K.K., Bhanage, N., Agarwal, M., and Bhavsar, S. (2008). Captive Elephants in Zoos: An Investigation into the Welfare and Management of Captive Elephants in Zoos of India. Elephants in Captivity CUPA/ANCFTechnical Report No 4. Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) and Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF), Bangalore, India): Andhra Pradesh had 7 elephants in 1 zoo, Assam had 9 in 1 zoo, Gujarat had 4 elephants in 2 zoos (2,2,), Karnataka had 16 elephants in 2 zoos, Kerala 1, Maharashtra 7 in 3 zoos, and Tamil Nadu had 6 elephants in 1 zoo. Among these elephants there were 32 females and 17 males (Source online publication

2020-09-21: India plans to build a biometric database and issue an ID number for every elephant in captivity across the country after the death of a pregnant female prompted an outcry. Blood samples will be taken from close to 3,000 elephants. Each will be given a unique identity number based on their DNA, under the plan set out by the government-backed conservation group Project Elephant.

Karnataka


2020: As per the last all-India survey, there are 8,500 elephants in Karnataka.
2008: About 163 captive elephants under five different management regimes. (Captive Elephants of Karnataka, 2008)
2018: Karnataka’s elephant camps have about 95 elephants and about 42 elephants were housed in the State zoos. (B.P. Ravi, 2018)

Kerala


Kerala has a population of around 520 captive elephants (P.K. Kesavan , 2018). The Temple at Guruvayoor owns the largest herd of 65. Of the 702 captives in the state, only 118 are females, less than 17 per cent of the total captive population. And of the 118, more than 60 per cent have crossed the reproductive age. There is no record of a pregnancy as a result of a union between two captive elephants in the state. In the last four years two female elephants delivered, one in Kollam and another in Kottayam, but both had conceived in Assam.

2009: By 2009, about 700 elephants were in captivity across the state of Kerala: Private individuals owned 508 elephants, temples had 174, forest camps had 8 and a zoo was home to 2 elephants.

2018: 521 captive elephants in State of Kerala as per recent census. As many as 30 captive elephants are at the elephant camps at Wayanad, Karippa, Konni and Kottoor. There are 401 male elephants, 22 tuskless elephants (males?) and 98 female elephants as per the census conducted on November 29.

Tamil Nadu


In Tamil Nadu (formerly the Madras Presidency) the Forest-Department had been maintaining elephants for over 140 years. In the Anamallais, the elephant camp was located in Sungam (now in Kerala) till the state reorganization in 1956. Subsequently in 1956 the camp was shifted to Varagaliar in the Ulandy valley and continues there. The Theppakkadu Elephant Camp was established in 1927 in Mudumalai Range. In the Anamallais where large areas were cleared for planting with teak, elephant capturing operation was taken up in 1889 and until and up to 1972 more than 600 elephants were captured from wild to meet the demand for working elephants. In Mudumalai, elephant capturing was taken up in 1910 and continued till 1953. (Krishnamurthy 2002)

2002: at Mudhumalai 27 elephants (12 at Theppakadu camp, 15 at Abhayaranyam camp) 16 in AnamaIlais(9 at Varagaliar camp, 1 at Kozhikamuthi camp and 6 are deputed for "anti elephant depredation work" surrounding tea gardens at Valaparai and at Manomboli), 5 elephants in Arignar Anna Zoolologica) Park and one at the Childrens Comer, Guindy. Thus in total there are 49 animals on the roll overall under the management of Govt. of Tamil Nadu.


Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan, Facts about elephants in India. Elephant Encyclopedia, (2021) available online retrieved at https://www.elephant.se/country.php?name=India.
(archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources, among others


Internal relevant links

  • The elephant database startpage. Statistics
  • News about elephants in India (From the sister site Elephant News)


  • NameElephant collectionTypePlaceDistrictProvinceStateRegion
    Appu Ghar
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births1 relocated0 deathszooNew Delhi
    (map)
    Aurangabad Siddharth Garden and Zoo
    Kept totally 3 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 1 births2 relocated1 deathszooAurangabad
    Bagh-e-Aam Public Gardens
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births1 relocated0 deathszooHyderabad
    (map)
    Telangana
    Bannerghatta Biological Park Zoo
    Kept totally 31 elephants
    , 22 present (6,14) 18 births4 relocated5 deathszooBangalore
    (map)
    Karnataka
    Barrackpore menagerie (Indian Natural History Project)
    Kept totally 0 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooBarrackpore subdivision, Kolkata
    (map)
    West Bengal
    Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park
    Kept totally 4 elephants
    , 3 present (1,2) 0 births0 relocated1 deathszooChaklaBihar
    Binkadakatti Zoo
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 1 present (0,1) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooHubli
    Bondla zoo
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated2 deathszooMargao, Goa
    (map)
    Calcutta Alipore Zoo (Alipore Zoological gardens)
    Kept totally 16 elephants
    , 4 present (1,3) 0 births12 relocated0 deathszooKolkata
    (map)
    West Bengal
    Chhat Bir Zoo (Mahinder Singh Zoological park)
    Kept totally 7 elephants
    , 5 present (2,3) 2 births0 relocated2 deathszooZirakpur
    (map)
    Mohali districtPunjabnorth-west India
    Dhenkanal Kapilash animal Zoo and science park
    Kept totally 8 elephants
    , 6 present (1,3) 0 births0 relocated2 deathszooKapilash
    (map)
    Orissa
    Dr. Shivaram Karanth Biological Park (Pilikula Nisargadama)
    Kept totally 5 elephants
    , 1 present (1,0) 1 births4 relocated0 deathszooMangaloreKarnataka
    Indore Zoo (Kamal Nehru Prani Sangrahalaya)
    Kept totally 4 elephants
    , 1 present (1,0) 0 births2 relocated1 deathszooIndoreMadhya Pradesh
    Itanagar Zoo
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 1 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooShannan
    (map)
    Arunachal Pradesh
    Jhargram mini zoo
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births2 relocated0 deathszooJhargramWest Bengal
    Kanan Pendari Zoo Park
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated1 deathszooBilaspurBilaspur district, Chhattisgarh
    Kankaria Kamla Nehru Zoo
    Kept totally 8 elephants
    , 6 present (4,2) 1 births0 relocated2 deathszooAhmedabadGujarat
    Kanpur Allen Forest Zoo
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 2 present (0,2) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooKanpur
    Katraj Zoo (Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park)
    Kept totally 4 elephants
    , 2 present (0,1) 0 births2 relocated0 deathszooPune
    (map)
    Maharashtra
    Kurumbapatti Zoological Park
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births1 relocated0 deathszooSalem
    (map)
    Tamil Nadu
    Lucknow Zoo
    Kept totally 5 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 1 births2 relocated3 deathszooLucknow
    (map)
    Uttar Pradesh
    Madras Vandalur Zoo (Arignar Anna Zoological Park)
    Kept totally 25 elephants
    , 9 present (1,6) 3 births12 relocated4 deathszooChennai
    (map)
    Madras Zoo (Moore Market Complex)
    Kept totally 3 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births3 relocated0 deathszooMadras
    (map)
    Mumbai Byculla Jijamata Udyan zoo
    Kept totally 4 elephants
    , 1 present (0,1) 0 births1 relocated2 deathszooMumbaiMaharashtra
    Muruga Rajendra Mata
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 1 present (0,1) 0 births1 relocated0 deathszooChitradurga
    (map)
    Karnataka
    Mysore Zoo
    Kept totally 46 elephants
    , 14 present (5,7) 8 births22 relocated10 deathszooMysore
    (map)
    Karnataka
    Nagaland Zoological Park
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 1 present (0,1) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooDimapurDimapur
    Nandankanan Zoo
    Kept totally 11 elephants
    , 5 present (0,5) 0 births1 relocated5 deathszooBhubaneswarOrissa
    Nehru Zoological Park
    Kept totally 12 elephants
    , 7 present (2,5) 1 births3 relocated2 deathszooHyderabad
    (map)
    New Delhi Zoo
    Kept totally 10 elephants
    , 3 present (2,1) 0 births5 relocated2 deathszooNew Delhi
    Patna Zoo
    Kept totally 3 elephants
    , 1 present (0,1) 0 births2 relocated0 deathszooPatnaBihar
    Saundatti unspecified temple
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated1 deathszooSaundattiBelgaum district, Karnataka
    Sepahijala Zoo
    Kept totally 0 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooTripuraNortheast India
    Tata Steel zoological park
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated1 deathszooJamshedpur
    Thrissur Zoo
    Kept totally 0 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooThrissur
    (map)
    Kerala
    Tirupati Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births1 relocated0 deathszooTirupati
    (map)
    Andhra Pradesh
    Trivandrum Zoo
    Kept totally 6 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 1 births5 relocated1 deathszooThiruvananthapuram
    (map)
    Kerala
    Vizag Zoo (Indira Gandhi Zoological Park)
    Kept totally 6 elephants
    , 4 present (2,2) 0 births2 relocated0 deathszooVisakhapatnam
    (map)
    Andhra Pradesh
    Wonderla Amusement Park (Veega Land)
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 1 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated0 deathszooErnakulam
    (map)
    Kerala



    This document was updated: 2020-10-29 07:28:47



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