Dasara Elephants Webinar Series: Mahout speaks about Balarama’s strength and valour
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Dasara Elephants Webinar Series: Mahout speaks about Balarama’s strength and valour

September 29, 2020

Mysore/Mysuru: “One cannot find another elephant like Balarama. Though very strong, he is very soft natured. Because of his kindness, I had got the opportunity to guide him twice when he carried the Golden Howdah,” said Balarama’s Mahout Thimma, while speaking about the strength and valour of Balarama, at yesterday’s webinar, 6th in the series of webinars titled ‘Mysuru Dasara Aanegalu’ organised by Forest Department, in association with Asian Elephant Support (AES). 

The webinar series, organised as part of ‘Wildlife Week’ will go on till Oct. 2 everyday at 5.30 pm. Interested may log on to https://tinyurl.com/y3ml394a

Continuing, Thimma said that Balarama had successfully carried the Golden Howdah during ‘Jumboo Savari’ 14 times and added that he has participated in Darasa for 21 times. He said that Balarama was selected to carry the Golden Howdah, following the untimely death of Drona. Drona was electrocuted while grazing.

Thimma said that during the period when Drona was carrying the Golden Howdah, Balarama was being trained to carry weight by placing sand bags on his back. After the death of Drona, Forest authorities were searching for another elephant to replace Drona and the officials zeroed in on Balarama and gave him the responsibility of carrying the howdah, he added.

Pointing out that though Balarama had a defective eye, the whooping 750-kg Golden Howdah was being tied securely on his back three hours before the commencement of ‘Jumboo Savari,’ Thimma said that by the time the Dasara procession culminated at Bannimantap, it used to take five to six hours and Balarama had the strength to carry the Golden Howdah and walk majestically without showing any signs of tiredness.

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“Balarama is well-mannered and well-behaved. His behaviour was the same whether he is in city or forest. While most elephants chase away dogs or cattle that venture near them, Balarama has never harmed a cow, dog or kids. He has also participated in many operations undertaken to capture rouge elephants and tigers,” Thimma said.

Thimma said that it is because of Balarama, he got the opportunity to make a name and thanked Balarama for it. Stating that he has always spoken and thought good of Balarama, Thimma said that he has small kids in his house, who play with Balarama. 

Range Forest Officer (RFO) Y.K. Kiran Mumar of Anechowkur Range, who spoke about Mathigodu Elephant Camp and Abhimanyu, said that Mathigodu is a special elephant camp as captured wild elephants are tamed in this camp.

A total of 17 male elephants, four females, one makna (male elephant without tusks) and four calves are being taken care at Mathigodu Elephant Camp and added that Dasara elephants Abhimanyu, Balarama, Gopalaswamy and Varalakshmi are housed at Mathigodu Camp.

Pointing out that Abhimanyu, who was earlier stacking logs in order, is continuing his discipline, the RFO said that because of his confidence and bravery, Abhimanyu is the number one elephant in the country.

“He is having the leadership qualities and during an operation to capture rouge elephants, he used to stun rouge elephants and is a role model for other elephants,” RFO Kiran Kumar said.

Mahouts also explained about the nutritional food being provided to elephants and also about the procedure of cooking food to the elephants.

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