Bengaluru: With a view to restoring dwindling numbers of scavengers, Karnataka has come up with a new plan. 

The carcasses of elephants, which were buried till now, will be openly placed in forests so that vultures can feed on them. 

This move is seen as ecologically sustainable. 

As reported by, the carcasses will be allowed to be fed by scavengers. However, to pre-empt the misuse of tuskers, they will be removed and a registry will be maintained about them. The Deputy Conservator of Forests will supervise this. 

The website quoted DCF MM Hills Wildlife Division V Yedukondalu as saying, “There are no written rules for the disposal of elephant carcasses. The present procedure has evolved in the last few years in consultation and directions of the chief wildlife warden. Vultures are natural scavengers and disappearing for lack of naturally available food. When an animal dies naturally, the process of disposal should be natural. If we burn the body, it is ecologically harmful while the resource for burial and burning is a wasteful expenditure. It costs somewhere between Rs 6000-10,000 for a burial procedure that involves hiring a JCB and digging a trench.”

He was further quoted as saying, “The earlier method of disposal of elephants was unscientific and so this method is being used while the endangered vultures get adequate food in forests. Maybe, this way, we can get back our vulture population. Everything will be re-cycled by this method as even bones are eaten as they are fed by wild dogs. Further, there is no evidence that big elephant bones are collected by poachers and misused.”

But the story changes in case of poisoning of pachyderms. The carcasses will be burnt so as to thwart the attempt of scavengers eating it and getting further poisoned. 

This move, as the official said, will help revive scavenger population.