Thiruvananthapuram: People for Animals activist Sreedevi S. Kartha has kicked off a campaign, #giveponunni his world back. The baby elephant was brought to Kottur Elephant Rehabilitation Centre after its mother was found dead in the forest in Chinnakanal in Idukki.
She has come down heavily against the baby elephant being quarantined instead of sending it back to its herd. Ms Kartha, a full-time member, visited the six-month calf elephant the other day at Kottur with PFA trustee Latha Indira.
They were upset to see ‘Ponnunni’ as she named it, restlessly pacing inside the quarantine.
Ms Kartha highlighted his plight on her Facebook.
“The forest authorities decided that it had no family and it had to take a long lorry journey to Kottur," she said. “Now it has been quarantined for 30 days and has been put on lactogen and glucose diet. He is putting his trunk outside earning for a touch of its mother, and unfortunately, none has the permission to approach it as it is being quarantined.”
She also warns that before the baby elephant succumbs like any other captive elephant, it has to be sent back to the forest to its herd.
But Dr C. S. Jayakumar, forest veterinary surgeon who is currently taking care of the baby elephant, said they had named him as ‘Chinna’ after Chinnakanal.
“We are ready to give Chinna to PFA activists. But on one condition. He should be returned to us alive," he told DC.
"They are coming out with baseless allegations. The issue is that Chinnakanal area is having an outbreak of herpes virus among elephants. So we have to maintain the basic protocol by tending to Chinna by giving prophylactics.”
Chinna is doing well and, he said, is currently on ORS, vitamin C, food supplements, tender coconut water, lactogen, glucose, etc