Elephant Smuggling in India


Police in north-eastern India have discovered an elephant smuggling ring in the Assam province .  Five people were arrested and accused of selling elephants in India and smuggling them across the border to Nepal.

Although it is illegal to trade elephants in India the police say that the trade is booming. Smugglers may get up to $100,000 for an elephant. Some of the traders the authorities have caught have already admitted the crime.



Police think that about a hundred elephants have been smuggled out of India from Assam in the past five years. Sometimes they have even been sold at fairs. The traders work together with elephant riders who catch and tame the animals before they can be sold. They then keep them in faraway villages and make contact with buyers . After that they drug the elephants and transport them across the border.

Elephants are sold to wealthy businessman and people who see the animal as a status symbol.



Wildlife organizations say that Assam is not doing enough to protect the elephants and stop smuggling. There are still about 26,000 elephants in India, among them 3,500 working animals. According to the law newly born elephants must have a registration chip implanted.



Related Topics


  • according to = as said by ...
  • accuse = to say that you believe that someone has done something against the law
  • admit = to accept the truth; to say that you have done something
  • although = while
  • arrest = to catch a person and bring him to a police station
  • authorities = government or local organizations that have the power to control things
  • border = line that separates two countries
  • discover = to find out something for the first time
  • drug = to give an animal medicine so that they feel tired or go to sleep
  • fair = an event at which special things are sold
  • faraway = a long distance away
  • illegal = not allowed; against the law
  • implant = to put into your body under your skin
  • protect = take care of, guard, defend
  • registration chip = a metal or plastic object that shows you the number of something and identifies it
  • smuggle = to take something illegally from one country to another
  • status symbol = something important that you have; it shows that you are in a high position
  • tame = to train a wild animal so that they do not attack you
  • trade = to buy and sell
  • wealthy = rich
  • wildlife organization = group that tries to protect animals in nature