Forest Department team to visit elephant camps to select elephants in a couple of days
Mysore: The annual ritual of selecting Dasara elephants is on and the Forest Department officials are all set to go to different elephant camps in Mysuru and Kodagu to prepare a preliminary list of elephants that are eligible to participate in the gala event.
Elephants that participate in Dasara tend to have an aura about them. Some tuskers like Arjuna, Balarama, Abhimanyu, and Vikrama have been regulars in the festivities. This year too, 12 elephants will be selected, said DCF Dr. K.C. Prashanth Kumar.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, he said that this year’s festivities will begin on Sept. 29 and elephants have to be brought to Mysuru two months before the event to train them.
The first batch of six elephants is likely to arrive in Mysuru after August 15. DCF Prashanth Kumar and Veterinarian Dr. D.N. Nagaraju will lead the initiative of selecting elephants. They will visit Balle, Bandipur, K. Gudi, Thithimathi, Mathigodu, Dubare and other elephant camps and will inspect the elephants. The team will visit the forests in another couple of days.
They will check the health conditions, stamina, age, behaviour and experience of elephants. The first list will be prepared after they are certified fit to take part in the festivities. The elephants will also be examined for Dasara participation experience, weight, overall fitness, and conditions of musth, pregnancy and post-delivery health.
The list will be finalised at the Dasara Selection Committee meeting. Once the list is finalised, it will be sent to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests who will in turn forward it to the Dasara High-Powered Committee meeting that will be chaired by the Chief Minister. The approved list will be sent to the Mysore Palace, Prashanth Kumar added.