'The Elephant Whisperers' whose hearts beat for orphaned calves

Elated about the Oscar win, elephant mahout K Bomman thanked the Tamil Nadu Forest Department for the opportunity to share his story with Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga.

Published: 13th March 2023 07:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2023 07:38 PM   |  A+A-

'The Elephant Whisperers'

Bomman and Bellie with an orphaned elephant calf. (Photo | Kartiki Gonsalves Instagram)

Express News Service

DHARMAPURI: Elephant mahout K Bomman (52), the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary 'The Elephant Whisperers' will be taking care of the two calves which were left orphaned after its herd died from electrocution.

"Today, we will be working to ensure the two calves, one male and the other female are safely integrated with a new herd. For the past six days, our team has been monitoring the elephants and taking steps to ensure that they can take care of themselves in the forest. On Sunday, the two calves left the place where their mother had died. Now we will be monitoring their safety, we will be tracking the movement of the elephant till we find another herd," he said.

Speaking about 'The Elephant Whisperers' winning the Best Documentary Short Film at the 95th Academy Awards today, he said, "I have never expected such an honour, in fact, I had no idea what an Oscar award was till now. But the news makes us extremely happy. All this happened due to the efforts of the Forest Department, and as a staff working with them, I dedicate this win to all the staff working with elephants."

Bomman thanked the Tamil Nadu Forest Department for the opportunity to share his story with documentary makers Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga.

Recalling his experiences, he said, "We were approached by Kartiki to do a documentary. They had recorded our daily lives with the elephants. We just lived our daily lives and they recorded moments of it in the film."

Recalling his experience with elephants, Bomman said, ever since he could remember he had been interacting with elephants. His father Kunjan, an elephant mahout, had been closely working with the Forest Department to rescue and train elephants. Bomman had learned to understand the elephants from him.

It was in 1984, that he was appointed by the Forest department in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and since then he and his wife Bellie have been involved in rescuing elephants.


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