Kerala forest department allows parading of Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran
Based on the order, Chief Wildlife Warden Ganga Singh had issued an order on December 20, 2022, allowing the parading of the elephant for a maximum of two days a month.
Published: 21st January 2023 07:58 AM | Last Updated: 21st January 2023 07:58 AM | A+A A-
KOCHI: With the festival season approaching, the forest department has granted permission to parade Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran, the celebrated tusker with a huge fan following, at temple festivals.
The order issued by Chief Wildlife Warden Ganga Singh dated January 10, granted permission to parade the tusker for a maximum of two days a week subject to stringent conditions.
As per the order, the elephant should be paraded under the control of competent mahouts. No person other than the four mahouts handling the elephant routinely should be allowed to touch the elephant. A safety distance of a minimum 10 m should be maintained on all sides during parading. The presence of the elephant squad with adequate and trained manpower should be ensured and if the elephant looks agitated it should be shifted to a safe place.
Before parading, the health condition of the elephant should be checked by a team of veterinary doctors nominated by the forest department, Devaswom and an NGO associated with animal welfare. The order says the parading will be subject to the approval of the district monitoring committee. The secretary of Thechikkottukavu Devaswom will be responsible for any loss to public property made by the elephant. The Kerala High Court had issued a ban on parading the elephant in September 2022. However, the court directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) to take a decision on the issue on November 22, 2022.
Based on the order, Chief Wildlife Warden Ganga Singh had issued an order on December 20, 2022, allowing the parading of the elephant for a maximum of two days a month. The order was revised on January 10, allowing two parades a week based on a petition filed by the ThechikkottukavuDevaswom.
“The principal chief conservator, who is duty-bound to ensure the safety of wild animals, has acted as the conservator of festivals,” said animal rights activist V K Venkitachalam.
“The elephant was in musth from September to December and is healthy now. It can be paraded at festivals if the forest department grants a fitness certificate,” said Thechikkottukavu Devaswom member Binoy.