Tamil Nadu: 48-day annual rejuvenation camp for temple elephants begins

This year, total 33 elephants different temples and mutts have turned up for the 48-day long annual rejuvenation camp at Thekkampati.

Tamil Nadu: 48-day annual rejuvenation camp for temple elephants begins
ANI photo

Coimbatore: The annual rejuvenation camp, the pet project started by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for temple elephants, began on Thursday in Mettupalayam's Thekkampatti. 

This year, total 33 elephants different temples and mutts have turned up for the 48-day long annual rejuvenation camp at Thekkampati.

Initiated by AIADMK government, the first camp was held in 2003 for 30 days, with the participation of 55 elephants.

The initiative started in 2003 following complaints that the Jumbos were not treated properly in temples and mutts, involves providing the elephants a combination of rest, nutritious food and medical treatment, besides training the mahouts to deal with the gentle giants with compassion.

The release said that the camps were not held from 2006-11 during the DMK regime, and the idea was re-initiated after Jayalalithaa took over in 2011.

The first five camps were held at Theppakkadu in Mudumalal Tiger Reserve in Nilgiris district while this is the fifth to be held in Thekkampatti, on the banks of Bhavani river.

All the pachyderms are expected to reach the health camp late in the evening, they said.

Besides facilities for the mahouts accompanying the elephants, the camp, organised by HR and CE department, has a special kitchen, dining hall and high mast lamp posts, shower baths.

The premises is protected by a solar fence, particularly to prevent the entry of wild elephants from nearby jungles, the sources said.