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Elephant Accident Gets 1.3 Million Rupees

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:

The amount of the financial compensation was determined by first considering the monthly income created by the elephant for the temple. According to 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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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Wildlife

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3:36PM PST on Dec 11, 2012


1:36PM PST on Nov 13, 2012

Hope they use the $ wisely.

8:44AM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

Wild animals belong to the wild!!

6:20PM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Prevention is better then cure.

6:19PM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Prevention is better then cure.

7:01AM PST on Dec 25, 2011

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!

4:55AM PST on Dec 22, 2011

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.

7:59AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

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)

10:13PM PST on Dec 20, 2011

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

7:00AM PST on Dec 20, 2011

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

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