Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has become the first state in India to have DNA profiling and fingerprints of all captive elephants.

The Forest Department provided blood samples of captive elephants across the state to the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) for DNA fingerprinting. This method is a forensic technique that makes it possible to identify individuals, people or animals based on unique DNA characteristics called micro-satellites like fingerprints.

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This DNA database would play an important role in captive wildlife management and wildlife crime investigations. This would aid in solving cases of illegal trade of elephants. The department is also planning to make a mobile app to use the information available in the database.

Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change sanctioned Rs 10 lakh under the centrally sponsored scheme "Project Elephant" for the initiative.

The Forest Department has prepared the DNA data with the help of technology available in Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology. DNA fingerprints were prepared using microsatellite markers technology in blood samples of captivated elephants.

Now the Forest Department has complete details of 519 captive elephants in the state. 87 squads completed the senses in just one month. There are 401 tuskers and 98 female elephants, according to the forest department’s finding.