Early Dasara this year: Royal treatment for jumbos at elephant camps: DCF
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Early Dasara this year: Royal treatment for jumbos at elephant camps: DCF

July 18, 2017

Mysuru: All the sixteen elephants that have been finalised for Dasara- 2017 are getting royal treatment, thanks to early Dasara this year. They are pampered at their respective elephant camps to make them accustomed to the treatment that they will receive at the Mysore Palace.

Usually, Dasara falls in October and this year, Navaratri is celebrated between September 21 and 30. Taking this into account, the Forest Department has decided to feed the elephants with nutritious food to put on weight and make them ready for Vijayadashami procession.

Of the 16 elephants, two elephants might be dropped and the list has been sent to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) for approval. Later, it will be placed at the Dasara High-Power Committee meeting that is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on July 24.

The 16 elephants are: Arjuna, the elephant that carries the 750-kg Golden Howdah from Balle elephant camp, Balarama, Abhimanyu, Gopalaswamy, Varalakshmi, Sarala, Krishna, Dhrona, Bhima from Mathigodu camp, Cauvery, Vijaya, Vikrama, Gopi, Harsha and Prashantha from Dubare camp and Gajendra from K.Gudi elephant camp.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) V. Yedukundalu said that the ‘Gaja Payana’ (the journey of Dasara jumbos from the forests to Mysore Palace) will be held on August 10. “Usually, royal treatment for elephants will begin once they enter the Mysore Palace. This year, we have decided to feed the pachyderms at their respective camps,” he said.

Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) V. Yedukundalu

“Earlier, we used to give boiled food cakes prepared out of ragi and paddy. From today, we have started feeding them with food cakes made out of green gram, urad dal, boiled rice, wheat, salt, jaggery, sugar, butter and onion. This food, given in 3 to 5-kg cakes, twice a day per elephant, will help the gentle giants to build stamina that is needed for them to endure the rigorous Dasara training,” he said.

This apart, 300 to 500 kg banyan tree and peepal tree leaves are being fed to each elephant daily, DCF (Wildlife) V. Yedukundalu added.

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As the Gaja Payana is scheduled on August 10 and Dasara is scheduled for September 21, it will be difficult for the elephants to get used to the routine.

“There are chances of them vomiting and indigestion due to sudden feeding of nutrient-rich food. In addition, an energy-booster tonic “Divimac” is being given to the elephants as prescribed by veterinarians,” he said.

On the reports that Gajendra unable to participate in the festivities due to some injury on his leg, Yedukundalu clarified that Gajendra will participate. “We send the elephants to forests and minor injuries due to thorns and stones are common. We have initiated a special healing treatment to Gajendra and his wounds will heal,” he added.

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