16 December 2011

Temple elephants embark on a vacation

37 temple elephants have been transported to Theppakadu at Mudumalai Reserve Forest for a 48 day vacation. Our own Rukku from Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai, is part of the vacationing group. In fact for Rukku this is returning home, because Theppakadu is the place where she was born, and where her mother still lives.

The trip took a couple of days and necessitated the elephants travelling in trucks. Some of them were not willing to step into the trucks, and mahouts had a difficult time pacifying the elephants and getting them on board.

A team of 5 doctors from the forest department and animal husbandry department has been deployed to provide round the clock medical aid. And in addition a team of five elephant experts from Kerala, will inspect the camp periodically.

Sweet Rukku, at Arunachaleswarar Temple

The vacationing elephants will be given a rejuvenation diet, basically green fodder including sugar cane, sorghum and cariota leaves. The mahouts and temple authorities will be trained on elephant management to make sure the temple elephants live a stress-free life post-rejuvenation camp, wildlife officials said.

It makes me happy that there is a least this small beginning in trying to improve what is currently an abysmal quality of life for Temple Elephants.

Have a lovely holiday sweet Rukku.

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