(dpa) – Indian protestors upset at the government’s gift of a baby elephant to Armenia demonstrated in the southern city of Bangalore Monday.
The six-year-old elephant named Veda was born in the Bannerghatta national park outside Bangalore, and locals complained she would not survive in Armenia.
“It has become a trend for politicians to give wildlife as gifts. This is totally illegal, especially for a place like Armenia with its extremely cold temperatures,” Sharat, an activist with People for Animals, told New Delhi Television.
In 1999, Armenian officials had asked the Indian government for a female pachyderm for its lone male elephant originally from Moscow. In 2003, then-Indian premier Atal Behari Vajpayee promised them an elephant during his visit to Armenia.
“Animals are not to be gifted. They must remain with their families,” one Bangalore resident told the television channel. “We don’t want Veda to go to any other country.”