Elephant Accident Gets 1.3 Million Rupees

A 27-year-old elephant named Gangadharan was hit and killed by a bus in India years ago, but the case was just finalized recently. The Supreme Court awarded the temple that owned the elephant 1.3 million rupees, because they said animals are eligible for compensation for damages sustained in road accidents just as humans are.

“The definition of property in the Motor Vehicles Act is very wide and is inclusive. Although it does not specifically mention animals, since it is inclusive, animals also should be included,” explained one of the Supreme Court Justices. (Source: TheHindu.com)

The amount of the financial compensation was determined by first considering the monthly income created by the elephant for the temple. According to Coinmill.com 1.3 million rupees is $24,616.58  U.S. dollars. Recognizing the right of animals to be compensated for damage or death from road accidents could have far-reaching consequences, as human – elephant conflict kills many elephants every year.

Also, when it is wild elephants that are killed or injured in road accidents, where would the compensation be paid? Hopefully it would go to an elephant conservation charity, or a government wildlife agency.

Seven wild elephants were killed in one train accident in India – an accident that never should have taken place. Critics have said the train conductor was traveling at a speed over the limit in an area where it is well known elephants roam and cross the tracks.  It doesn’t seem to have been reported if there was a legal case against the train’s owner, or if any compensation  was paid.

About 26,000 Asiatic elephants live in India.Their population might have declined 50% over the last three generations, and so they are considered endangered. A significant factor in their decline is habitat loss due to human activity. Approximately 5,000 Indian elephants are domesticated.

Image Credit:

Faraz Usmani


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Terry V.
Terry V3 years ago


Laurie Greenberg
Laurie Greenberg4 years ago

Hope they use the $ wisely.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla4 years ago

Wild animals belong to the wild!!

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

Prevention is better then cure.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

Prevention is better then cure.

Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog4 years ago

Thanks for sharing - I think for the wild elephants that die due to human causes, an elephant charity should definitely be awarded money from court...of course, it would be nice if humans were more careful to begin with!

Gill D.
Gill Didlick4 years ago

The elephant should never have been USED for entertainment in the first place. Any compensation should go towards getting elephants out of these God forsaken places and placed in a sanctuary where they can live as normal life as possible after human intervention.

Rosi Caswell

Like the concept of animals deserving compensation, but devastated that an elephant should die in this way. There are patently other issues to be addressed here. Rosi Caswell Animal Whisperer Therapist The System of Animal Therapy)

Donna R.
Donna R4 years ago

Sad that the elephant was killed. Happy to hear of the compensation

Elize Labuschagne

Hope they help the other elephants now. A little bit of justice.