Tamil Nadu: In a first, temple rehabilitates its jumbos

Lack of sufficient space and unnatural flooring had led to abscess formation in animals.

Chennai: In what is claimed as the first of its kind in the country, authorities of Kamakshi Amman temple in Kancheepuram district have decided to provide rest and rehabilitation to three elephants that suffered injuries in the temple.

Lack of sufficient space and unnatural flooring had led to abscess formation in animals, which had made the temple their home for more than 30 years.

According to a temple authority, Viswanatha Sastry, the elephants belonging to Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam — Sandhya(48), Indumathi(36) and Jayanthi(18)— were sent to Marakkanam in Villupuram district for rehabilitation.

“Tree foundation will facilitate medical aid for three months. We will soon arrange facilitates, including an acre of land and natural flooring to facilitate the habitat,” he said. Sandhya jumped off the truck and is currently sheltered at a nearby village to join the other two animals at Marakkanam.

Temple elephants already enjoy a 45-day annual break offered by state forest department, but the idea of this programme is to provide long term medical aid and natural surroundings, according to Tamil Nadu state captive elephants guidelines.

Supraja Dharani of Tree foundation appreciated the temple authorities’ move and said the animals are left chain-free in natural surroundings. “After seeking special permission from chief wildlife warden, we provide rehabilitation,” Supraja added.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed at the temple as the mahouts families objected the move alleging “foul play.” But members of the foundation said the ‘drama’ was because they had lost their livelihood from seeking alms through animals.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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