12 April 2007

Elephant Treatment

Since a recent posting;
more incidents concerning stressed, mistreated elephants are being recorded. In all, 46 people (41 mahouts and five others, including two women) were killed by captive elephants in Kerala in 2006. In this respect this April 8th at Thrissur District, Kerala, an elephant ran amok killing its mahout (handler) and injuring 24 others during an elephant show at a school.

As a result of the Thrissur incident, the Kerala High Court has asked the Kerala State Government to strictly enforce Captive Elephants Management and Maintenance Rules 2003. It has also directed that elephants should not be made to participate in religious processions between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The life elephants should be living

Animal rights groups say the increasing number of mahouts being killed by elephants in Kerala indicates serious flaws in captive elephant management and maintenance.

Animal rights activists allege that elephants are made to walk long distances on tarred roads and stand unendingly on concrete surfaces, in violation of Section 12 of a Government Order (No. 12/2003/F&WLD). Which results in most elephants reportedly have pockets of infection under their feet or toenails. Feet are the gauge of an elephant's overall health.

Tiruvannamalai Elephants

Well what is happening in Kerala is also happening here at Tiruvannamalai. Currently we only have the one local elephant, Rukku, but during festivals, particularly Karthigai, many handlers bring their elephants to Tiruvannamalai to enjoy the 'rich pickings' of pilgrims and visitors. At that time the elephants are made to constantly stand on the side of busy highways giving blessings with their trunks to a never ending line of pilgrims. Sadly this is also the daily grind of Rukku's lonely life at the Temple where she is forced to remain motionless on granite stones for hours on end, blessing interminable lines of pilgrims.

News on Rukku's Health

Rukku has recently been diagnosed for the eye ailment, keratitis by experts from Madras Veterinary College. An ophthalmic surgeon and Wild Life Sciences professor, both from Madras Veterinary College and two other veterinarians checked Rukku on Tuesday, April 10th.

Recent photo of Rukku

Superficial keratitis involves the superficial layers of the cornea. After healing, this form of keratitis does not generally leave a scar. However deep keratitis involves deeper layers of the cornea. Upon healing, a scar remains that impairs vision if on or near the visual axis.

Dear Rukku we hope you get better quickly.

1 comment:

divyakka said...

That is sooo sad, elephants should remain free and never be captive. :-(