Temple elephants in Mayiladuthurai in need of rejuvenation, says welfare committee

After inspecting the maintenance of the elephants, District Elephant Welfare Committee Member N Sivaganesan said,

Published: 21st December 2022 04:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st December 2022 04:34 AM   |  A+A-

Officials enthusiasts inspect the elephant Abayambigai in Shri Mayuranathaswamy Temple in Mayiladuthurai on Tuesday | Express

Express News Service

MAYILADUTHURAI:  After a team of officials along with members of the Elephant Welfare Committee on Tuesday visited the temples of Mayiladuthurai and Thirukadaiyur and inspected the captive elephants there, temple authorities were directed to provide proper maintenance to the elephants.

The Elephant Welfare Committee also requested that rejuvenation camps be conducted for the elephants. The officials, led by District Forest Officer Yogesh Kumar Meena, inspected the health and behaviour of the temple elephants Abayambigai, 56, at Shri Mayuranathaswamy Temple, managed by Thiruvavaduthurai Aadheenam, and Abirami, 18, at Shri Amirthagateswarar Temple in Thirukadaiyur, managed by Dharmapuram Aadhennam.

After inspecting the maintenance of the elephants, District Elephant Welfare Committee Member N Sivaganesan said, "The captive elephants should be given good care as per the directions of the Tamil Nadu Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules, 2011. The older elephants should be cared for more and given advanced maintenance.

The elephants have also missed their rejuvenation for nearly two years. The camps should at least be conducted at zonal level to establish social intimacy with other elephants, which they lack in confined spaces." The Tamil Nadu Government's annual camp for elephant rejuvenation was last conducted at Thekkampatti in February 2021.

The inspection team also included Assistant Conservator of Forests K Kirubakaran, Sirkazhi Forest Range Officer A Joseph Daniel, Assistant Director of Animal Husbandry Department N Muthukumarasamy, Assistant Commissioner of HR&CE Department N Muthu Raman, and District Elephant Welfare Committee Member N Sivaganesan. Sirkazhi Forest Range Officer A Joseph Daniel said, "We have instructed the temple management to set up proper sheds and tanks where the elephants can take baths.

These facilities were lacking at the temples." The officials and the Elephant Welfare Committee members advised the Shri Mayuranathaswamy Temple management to take proper care of the senior elephant, Abayambigai, as it was advancing in years. The team also observed that she had skin fungal infections. Assistant Director of the Animal Husbandry Department N Muthukumarasamy said,

"We have advised the temple management to provide the elephants with formaldehyde baths to fight off bacteria. We've also advised mahouts and keepers to groom the elephants' toenails and vaccinate them for diseases like anthrax, and recommended collecting saliva, nasal fluids, urine and faeces and conducting various tests."


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