Rogue elephant Laden alias Krishna when captured. Image: Northeast Now
Rogue elephant Laden alias Krishna when captured. Image: Northeast Now

The rogue elephant ‘Krishna’ was subjected to a torturous training schedule called ‘Kraal’, which is discouraged worldwide by elephant trainers.

The Assam Forest Department, which had tranquillized the rogue recently and decided to captivate it, are now contemplating the torturous ‘Kraal’ training module due to it’s overage, which has concerned wildlife activists.

“Normally, in the Indian tradition of captivating elephants, they (elephants) are required to be between six to seven years old,” said a wildlife activist expressing concern over the decision.

“The height of the animals should be no more than seven feet,” the activist added.

The experts involved in the operation to tranquillize Krishna termed it to be a full-grown adult male elephant and estimated it to be around 35 years of age.

The rogue elephant, which had triggered panic in and around Goalpara district for last few days destroying villages and attacking people, was tranquillized by the forest department recently.

Although the locals nicknamed the rogue to be ‘Laden’, the forest department named it as Krishna after the capture.

The elephant had also killed five people within 24 hours on October 29 triggering large scale protests by locals.

The protests forced the Assam forest department to launch a major operation to tranquillize the rogue elephant.

Some of the wildlife conservationists in Assam have, however, raised a question about the decision to captivate a full-grown adult elephant, which is 35 years old and over seven feet in height.

“The rogue elephant captured from Rongjuli forest in Goalpara districts is a full-grown adult around 35 years old. The trainers had to resort to the infamous ‘kraal’ method of training to captivate it, which is widely discouraged,” he said.

The ‘Kraal’ method of training elephants includes extreme torture to break the elephant spirit and to make sure that it accepts the commands of the trainers or its masters.

The method normally places the elephants in a strong wooden cage or barricade and tied with ropes.

“The Kraal method is discouraged by trainers even in Thailand and Myanmar as it affects the health of the animal most of the time,” said the activist.

“The method also requires to keep the elephant starving or offer little food at intervals,” he added.

Laden alias Krishna is being trained at the Roumari camp in Orang national park in Assam.

While the traditional elephant trainers known as ‘Phandi’ are training the elephant, the department is also contemplating to bring two elephant experts from South India to advise the ‘Phandis’ on the training of the elephant.