THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sreekutty turned one on November 8. The elephant calf at the Kottoor Elephant Rehabilitation Centre celebrated her birthday in the presence of 15-odd elephants and her mahout with a cake made of rice and ragi. In what seemed like a moment of gratitude, she greeted Dr E K Eswara, chief forest veterinary officer (Rtd), who nursed her to health. The birthday celebration was planned and executed by the Eco-Development Committee, Kappukadu.
Rescued from the forest area of Thenmala last year, the elephant calf recuperated at the centre in Kottoor. Despite showing fewer signs of survival, the forest officials made efforts to bring the baby elephant back to a healthy life. For them, Sreekutty’s birthday will always be on the day she was found.
“When we got Sreekutty, one of her hind legs was badly injured and she had bruises all over her body. It is suspected that she was washed away in strong water currents, eventually getting separated from her parents. As Sreekutty was hardly three weeks old, chances of her survival was just 40 per cent,” said Satheeshan N V, deputy wildlife warden. He mentioned that the forest officials had waited for a day before shifting her to the centre with the hope that her mother would come looking for her. Later, she was shifted to the rehabilitation centre.
A special enclave was set up at the centre for Sreekutty. Initially, she was fed glucose and lactogen by the veterinarians with the Forest Department. Later, when she showed signs of improvement, B-Protein and ragi were introduced to her diet.
Forest officials, members of the eco-development committee, mahouts and people from tribal hamlets were present to mark the elephant calf’s birthday. The celebration also included three-year-old pachyderm Kannan and 78-year-old Soman, who will hopefully enter the Guinness Book of World Records soon for being the oldest living elephant in the world.