Elephant in cooperatives

Chitwan, 28 September. Entrepreneurs have decided to manage the elephants from one place after the tourism activities of the elephants were halted due to the lockdown to control Corona. The concept of cooperatives is to be taken to manage elephants.

There are elephants with hotel operators in the tourist areas along with Sauraha of the Chitwan district. The number of elephants in Sauraha is around 70. Entrepreneurs say that there are around 100 private elephants in Chitwan and Nawalparasi around Chitwan National Park.

Lately, it has become difficult to raise elephants as tourists have not come for jungle safari. Ten elephants hired from India have been returned.

According to Rishi Tiwari, chairman of the United Elephant Cooperative, which is currently managing elephant tourism, entrepreneurs are currently raising elephants on their own. The cooperative has been assisting in tourism activities by booking the elephants. Entrepreneurs get as much as the elephant earns.

He informed that now all the elephants will be kept in cooperatives and shares will be distributed. An average of five bighas of land is being sought for that. According to Tiwari, all the elephants will be kept in one place and managed as soon as the land is acquired. If a person has an elephant now, it will now belong to a cooperative. Tourism entrepreneurs will be made members in the cooperatives.

According to Deepak Bhattarai, president of the Regional Hotel Association, old and unhealthy elephants will not be used. Breeds will be used for breeding and only healthy elephants that can be used by tourists will be used. Entrepreneurs have made long-term plans to carry out elephant activities in one place by gradually finding large tracts of land.

According to Bhattarai, preparations have been made to play with elephants and have fun in the future rather than riding elephants. This concept has been introduced as the cost of raising and caring for elephants separately has increased. Entrepreneurs expect this to reduce costs. 

More than one lakh rupees per month has to spend for an elephant. The hired elephant has to pay Rs. 50/60 thousand per month. Elephants raised in Sauraha take tourists to the local intermediate community forests.

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