A rest and restoration camp held for 48 days for the temple and Forest Department elephants at Thekkampatti and Nellithurai near Mettupalayam ended on Tuesday.
Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments P Chendur Pandian who visited the camp on the last day conducted a ceremonial feeding of the elephants. He also gave away clothes to the mahouts of the Forest elephants.
The minister said the camp had passed without a hitch and that the elephants were now looking better and healthy.
It was a refreshing time for the 38 temple and 18 Forest elephants attending the camp that started on December 20 last year. The camp was organised in the plains for the second time to avoid the elephants being transported for long distances through the Nilgiris ghat roads.
This year, Forest elephants including Kumki’s were brought for rejuvenation. While the camp helped the elephants to regain their health and get treatment for any disease, the last day turned out to be an emotional day for the elephants as well.
As the vehicles were arranged for them to be transported, a few elephants refused to get into the vehicles. All but two left for their destinations. Two Forest elephants, Nanjan and Pari in the Nellithurai camp, could not leave as they were in musth.
HR & CE Commissioner P Dhanapal said the veterinarians and the supporting staffs had taken care of the elephants well. There were elephants which needed to put on some weight and others that needed to reduce it.
During the camp, a proper food regime suitable to each was followed and supplements were provided to bring the animals to the right condition, he said.