Camel finds home in Assam after long legal battle

first_imgA camel rescued from smugglers on the Bangladesh border has found a home in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar after a six-month legal battle for ownership between the State police and the authorities of the Assam State Zoo. The camel, an adult male, left the zoo in Guwahati in a truck on Monday morning for an “animal home” in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district about 350 km away. His companion was Samiran Hatimuria, who runs the home called Aranyam.“The camel is a welcome addition to my family, whose members include emus, turkeys, guinea pigs, horses, 12 types of peafowls, five varieties of pigeons, and other animals. I hope the camel adapts to our 12-bigha home,” Mr. Hatimuria, 32, told The Hindu after reaching his village Talugaon, about 3 km from Sivasagar town.The police in western Assam’s Goalpara district had in mid-2018 rescued the camel while the animal was allegedly being transported for smuggling into Bangladesh.Like two more camels rescued from the same district in January that year, this camel, too, was shifted to the zoo.The first two camels were diagnosed as carriers of diseases that veterinarians said could put the caged animals in the zoo at risk. Zoo officials approached the Sessions Court in Goalpara after the two died six months ago.“We told the court that the zoo is not authorised to keep domestic animals and that the police should take back the third camel, which appeared healthy,” Tejas Marisamy, the zoo’s Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), said.In course of time, the local court asked the police to take the camel back. But the inability of the police to accommodate the animal left it in the zoo.In December, the zoo got in touch with Mr. Hatimuria, who had, since opening Aranyam in 2008, earned a reputation for letting his facility out to be used by the Sivasagar district wildlife officials to shelter rescued wild animals temporarily for treatment or rehabilitation in the wild.“The zoo paid for the camel’s transportation. Sustenance for the animal would be appreciated, but I can take care of him, like the others at Aranyam. My parents earn a decent living, I run a small business and we have some farm income, too,” he said.“The police should ideally provide for the camel’s fodder and care since they are legally its custodian. But we will try to work a way out,” Mr. Marisamy said.last_img

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