Abandoned elephant calf taken to Mudumalai (India)


VS Palaniapan, The Hindu

Date Published


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The six-month-old female elephant calf which was found at Kaithakolli village near a private plantation.

A six-month-old female elephant calf that was orphaned at Devala near Gudalur has found a home at the elephant camp at Theppakadu in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).

The calf was found two days ago at Kaithakolli near a private plantation. Forest staff after waiting for the mother elephant to come and claim her on Thursday decided to shift the calf to the elephant camp at Theppakkadu.

Arrangements were made by Gudalur Divisional Forest Officer S.N. Tejaswi, Assistant Conservator of Forests Pushpakaran and Veterinarian E. Vijayaraghavan.

The elephant travelled in a mini cargo vehicle and reached the camp site on Thursday.

MTR Deputy Director V.A. Saravanan told The Hindu that the elephant camp at present has 17 male elephants, including two makhnas (male without tusk) and seven female elephants.

This is the first calf at the camp now.

Forest officials said mother elephants abandon their calves for various reasons like ailment or because it could not keep pace with the herd. However, going by the health of the calf, it was decided to take her to Vandalur near Chennai, as the Aringar Anna Zoological Park there has three veterinarians, while the MTR has just one veterinarian. The calf requires specialised personal attention.

A complete health assessment of the calf would be done to nurture it to good health, officials said.

The six-month-old animal will get specialised personal attention in the Vandalur zoo.