Mysore/Mysuru: Retired Forest Department Veterinarian and Deputy Director of Kodagu District Animal Husbandry Department Dr. B.C. Chittiappa, who spoke at ‘Mysuru Dasara Aanegalu,’ a series of webinars organised by the Forest Department, in association with Asian Elephant Support (AES) organisation, recollected his moments with this year’s Golden Howdah elephant Abhimanyu.
Speaking at the fifth series of the webinar, Dr. Chittiappa said that during a combing operation undertaken to capture wild elephants that had created ruckus in villages bordering forest area, two wild elephants attacked the forest team all of a sudden but Abhimanyu, who was part of the team, did not display any signs of fear and tackled both the elephants making them retreat.
Pointing out that Abhimanyu is not only strong, brave and fearless but also intelligent, who is quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas, he said that Abhimanyu perfectly fulfils the responsibility given to him and added that he (Abhimanyu) understands where he is being taken, when being led from his camp and prepares himself for the task. Continuing, Dr. Chittiappa said that whenever ‘Gaadhi’ and ‘Namdha’ is placed on Abhimanyu’s back, he understands that he is being led to capture a tiger or elephant and he prepares for the task mentally and added that this is the speciality of Abhimanyu.
During the operation to capture wild elephants, Abhimanyu has the ability to prepare himself according to the size of the wild elephants. Though Abhimanyu is strong and brave, his tusks are small when compared to other wild elephants whose tusks are usually long. His short tusks make him susceptible to injuries when attacked by other wild elephants, Dr. Chittiappa said and added that still Abhimanyu does not step back in fulfilling the tasks given to him as Abhimanyu knows how to tackle wild elephants with long tusks.
Recalling an incident when an injured wild elephant had remained standing in water for almost three days continuously, Dr. Chittiappa said that though the staff went near the elephant to provide treatment and bring it out of the water, they could not bring the injured elephant out of the water. Here too, Abhimanyu had displayed his intelligence and slowly pushed the injured elephant out of the water which made it possible for the Forest staff to treat the injured elephant, he said.
Abhimanyu’s Mahout Vasanth, who also spoke, explained about his relationship with the elephants. He said that his father Sannappa, who was the Kavadi of Arjuna, was appointed as the Mahout of Abhimanyu after he (Abhimanyu) was captured in 1977. It was here that he developed his relationship with Abhimanyu.
“My father has led Abhimanyu successfully in pulling the chariot during ‘Jumboo Savari.’ I have participated 20 times in Dasara at Mysuru and three times in Srirangapatna Dasara. I was the Mahout, who led the elephant carrying a wooden howdah amongst the crowd in Srirangapatna. I have also participated in operations undertaken to capture more than 100 wild elephants and eight tigers. We both have good relationship between us and I love him and take care of him for which he trusts me. Maintaining this relationship is my responsibility now,” said Vasanth.The webinar series will go on till Oct. 2 everyday at 5.30 pm. In today’s webinar, experts will speak about Balarama and other elephants. Those interested may log on to https://tinyurl.com/y3ml394a