The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has served a notice to an NGO running an elephant rescue facility in Mathura district in Uttar Pradesh, questioning its legality.
CZA Member Secretary D.N. Singh in his notice under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 has charged the NGO with illegally operating the Elephant Care Centre.
"It is observed that the Wildlife SOS on its website is promoting visitors to the illegally operating the Elephant Conservation Centre Mathura and collecting charges from visitors," the order said.
No zoo can be set up in India without the approval of the CZA.
"The elephant centre in Mathura is established without prior permission of the Authority and operating without obtaining recognition by this Authority. Therefore, the said facility is illegal and not permissible for operation," the notice added.
A Wildlife SOS spokesperson told IANS: "This notice does not concern us as we are not a zoo. And we run the centre in collaboration with the Forest Department."
The CZA action follows complaints by animal rights activists Naresh Kadyan and Gauri Maulekhi.
(With inputs from agencies.)