Madras HC had intervened to relocate Ammu of 'The Elephant Whisperers'
On October 24, 2019, the court had directed the Tamil Nadu forest department to take utmost care of the animal and to ensure periodical monitoring of the elephant calf and its health condition.
CHENNAI: The intervention of the Madras High Court in relocating the baby elephant, 'Ammu' featured in the Oscar-winning short documentary, 'The Elephant Whisperers' to the Theppakadu Elephant Camp in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Nilgiris had led the animal to receive the care of mahout couple, Bomman and Bellie.
It was on October 24, 2019 that Justices M. Sathyanarayana (since retired) and Justice N. Seshasayee of the Madras High Court had ordered utmost care in transporting the elephant calf, Ammukutty, alias Ammu or Bommie, to the Theppakadu Elephant Camp. The court had directed the Tamil Nadu forest department to take utmost care of the animal and to ensure periodical monitoring of the elephant calf and its health condition.
The forest department had deposed in the court that Ammu was separated from the herd in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) and could not be reunited with the herd even after the best efforts put in by the department.
A wildlife activist, S. Muraleedhran had filed a case in the Madras High Court to prevent and restrain the forest department to make any further attempts to let the animal back into the forest.
He has also prayed before the court that the animal be brought up in an elephant camp or in a zoo administered by the forest department.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) responded to the court stating that Ammu could not be reunited with her mother or the natal herd even after the best efforts by the department and that any further attempt may endanger her life.
The PCCF also produced before the court a copy of the proceedings issued by him on October 23, 2019, for transporting Ammu from STR in Erode District to the Theppakadu Elephant Camp for her upkeep and maintenance.
The division bench of the Madras High Court had directed the forest department to take utmost care in bringing up Ammu and disposed of the case.
The forest department, following the directive from the court handed over the female elephant calf, Ammu to Bomman and Bellie, the mahout couple who had a track record of bringing up another male elephant calf, Raghu.
Both Reghu and Ammu had stolen the hearts of the viewers in the Oscar-winning short documentary 'The Elephant Whisperers' directed by Kartiki Gonsalves.