COIMBATORE: Two days after being beaten up by her caretakers at the annual rejuvenation camp in Thekkampatti, temple elephant Jeymalyatha is reportedly refusing to consume food offered by her new attendant Subramaniam.
Sources in the animal husbandry department attribute the animal's behavioural change to the absence of her mahout Vinil Kumar and kavadi Sivaprasath.
"Jeymalyatha is used to consuming food -- rice and ragi balls -- based on the instructions of her mahout and kavadi. Following their arrest, she is being taken care of by an assistant mahout Subramaniam, who used to help Vinil in the past. It might take some time for Jeymalyatha to get accustomed to him."
They further said the animal was a little rude compared to other animals in the camp, and was yet to get along with Subramaniam. "We always checked the animal's health in the presence of Vinil Kumar," they added.
Contradicting their claims, Veterinary Officer with the Coimbatore Forest Division, A Sugumar, told TNIE that the animal started eating well. Sugumar is one of the expert committee members appointed by the State government to monitor the animal's health. "Jeymalyatha refused to eat on Monday. But she has now started having fodder. We have recommended a diet chart for overweight elephants. So far, none of the 26 elephants in the camp has any major illness. Also, a suggestion has been made to give a foot bath for a few jumbos," he said.
Meanwhile, sources claimed that relatives of Vinil Kumar and Sivaprasath have moved the court seeking bail.