Zee News, India
May 1 2005
PM’s decision not to send Veda to Armenia hailed
London, May 01: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s reported decision not
to send Veda, a six-year-old female elephant from Bannerghatta
National Park near Bangalore, to an Armenian zoo has been hailed by
UK-based born free foundation, saying India was leading the way for
other nations to follow.
“We are absolutely delighted that Dr Singh has made this
compassionate decision to keep Veda in Bannerghatta where she
belongs,” said Virginia McKenna, founder of the Born Free Foundation,
an NGO working for animal welfare, and star of the film Born Free.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the suffering Veda would have had
to endure through being uprooted from her family would have been
immense. I would like to thank all those that have offered us their
support in this campaign”, she said.
McKenna said “India is leading the way for other nations to follow”
and added “we truly hope that the use of animals as diplomatic gifts
will soon become a thing of the past, and would like to strongly
encourage other countries to follow India’s example.”
Earlier, when it was announced that Veda was to be sent to Armenia to
join the only male elephant in Yerevan zoo there, animal rights
activists opposed it pointing at the conditions in the Armenian zoo.
Alison Hood, head of campaigns for Born Free Foundation recently
visited the Yerevan zoo in Armenia.
“The conditions at the zoo are clearly inappropriate for elephants,”
said hood. “Yerevan suffers severe winters, with temperatures often
falling below freezing (point), in stark contrast to the conditions
Veda currently enjoys in India.”