Wildlife activists, along with the representatives of Jaipur Association of Elephant Owner's found the ankush, used to control' elephants while riding, with six mahouts, who were on their way back to Hathi Gaon' from the Amber fort.
"On a sudden check of elephant riders the ankush, which has been banned by the Rajasthan High Court, was found. We seized the goads and warned them to not to use it in the future," said Naresh Kadyan, representative in India for International Organisation for Animal Protection, an NGO.
"We also sought support from the Association of Elephant Owners in Jaipur," he said.
Ankush is banned as per Rajasthan High Court order passed last year on a PIL moved by Haryana-based Kadyan, also a founder of another NGO PFA' which works for animal protection.
Rasheed Khan, an elephant-owner who accompanied Kadyan, said though most of the riders use wooden stick instead of iron ankush which does not hurt the animal so much, some of the mahouts keep the traditional goad for emergency cases. "We do monitor if any mahout uses the traditional ankush to drive the elephant but some riders say they prefer to carry it for emergency use. Six ankushes were seized on Wednesday while the elephants were being taken back from the Amber fort," he said.
In Jaipur, 105 pachyderms are used for riding at Amber fort, Rasheed said. Out of 115 elephants, 51 have been shifted to Hathi Gaon,', a government-sponsored project for housing of jumbos which is spread over 120 bighas having facilities of water, shed and also accommodation arrangement for mahouts near Kund in Amber. The responsibility for welfare of the elephants at the moment rests with the state department of tourism.