Steps to save elephants from mahout cruelty

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Concerned over certain instances of the temple elephants being put to hardship by some mahouts, the state Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR & CE) department has directed the officials to initiate stringent action on the mahouts if they were found to be involved in cruel treatment to the pachyderms.

“The elephants are used for religious ceremonies at various temples across the state and some devotees even venerate these docile creatures.

They deserve to be treated well,” a senior HR & CE official said. Following complaints from few devotees in Thanjavur that a mahout had tormented the temple elephant, the HR & CE authorities directed the temple officials to take action.

In order to serve as a deterrent, the temple officials have been told to even suspend the mahouts if they were found guilty.

Meanwhile, Prakruthi, aged 8, from the Sanee­swarar temple in Thirunallar in neighbouring Puducherry, will be the special guest at the rejuvenation camp underway at Mudumalai and Coimbatore.

The elephant is being brought on the request of the Puducherry government.

The state government has brought out detailed guidelines to be followed at the rejuvenation camp for temple and math elephants and these include various issues like maintenance, walking practice, feed and primary duties of mahouts besides veterinary care to the elephants.

As per the booklet brought out by HR & CE, the feed should be a mixture of coconut, palm, Aal, Athi, Arasu, bamboo, corn and leaves of sugarcane and should be provided thrice or four times a day.

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