Saturday, May 16, 2015
THE HINDU December 21, 2011
Even at this age of 61, leading a retired life, Dineshan receives jumbo-sized accolades every day. It is his tusks that have the most admirers.
At 1.44 metres long and 40 centimetres in diameter, each tusk stands out. Ivory of this proportion remains a dream for other captive elephants in the State.
To know why he is such a big hit with people, add Dineshan's gentle behaviour to the equation. In a corner of the elephant camp at Muthanga in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, he spends his days saluting visitors, never giving up his gentle nature.
It was not such restful days in his youth. Dineshan, standing over 2.5 metres tall, had been in forest service for 40 years as a Kumki elephant, rescuing trapped wild elephants inside the forests and assisting mahouts to train captive elephants in the kraal.
He had never attacked anyone or disobeyed the commands of his mahouts, M. Gopalan, a mahout at the camp, said.
The tusker was brought from the Nedumkayam elephant camp of the Nilambur forest division several decades ago, when capturing wild elephants was common in the State. In those days, Dineshan was in the forefront of rescue and training, T.M. Suresh, a former Wildlife Warden, recalled.
During the 1960s, nearly 30 trained elephants in the camp had been engaged in various works, including pulling timber and capturing wild elephants, he said. When the government banned capture of wild elephants in 1977 and felling trees in sanctuaries in the following years, the number of elephants in the camp was reduced to four.
At present, the department has just two Kumki elephants, Surya and Kunju, used mainly for scaring away herds of wild elephants entering human habitats and applying tranquilliser shots to pachyderms in critical situations, Pradeep, Assistant Wildlife Warden of the sanctuary, told The Hindu .
Sundary, a one-year-old female calf, became a new member of the elephant camp after it was rescued by forest personnel from the sanctuary in May 2010.
Amazing there is no PTS(post traumatic stress) in sight. Fluke, or overlooked fact in the animal right movement's ability to interpret anything, anyway, anyhow to fit their agenda?
Posted by Wade G. Burck