Mysuru: five-day National-level training programme for capacity building of Mahouts began at Mysuru Zoo here this morning.
The programme is organised in collaboration with Central Zoo Authority (CZA), New Delhi, for the Mahouts and Kavadis working at 10 Zoos in seven States of the country.
Speaking after inaugurating the training programme, IGP (Southern Range) K.V. Sharath Chandra said that Mahouts and Kavadis perform a tricky and complex job in taking care of gigantic elephants. Pointing out that the intelligence of elephant’s care takers hold key for tackling and taking care of pachyderms, he said that such programmes are surely going to help the mahouts in honing their skills.
Referring to Dasara procession, where the role of mahouts are very vital as elephants are taken in a procession in the presence of lakhs of people, Sharath Chandra said the skills of Mahouts and Kavadis are put to test on such occasions.
Observing that the job of a Mahout is not easy and totally different from other type of jobs, the IGP called upon the Mahouts to learn the latest methods in elephant handling.
B.P. Ravi, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Member Secretary, Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) who presided, said that Mahouts must ensure that they maintain a good relationship with the elephants that they are taking care of. Highlighting that taking utmost care of elephants is the crux of a Mahouts job, he said that this programme will surely help the Mahouts in upgrading their skills.
Mysuru Zoo Executive Director Ajit Kulkarni, in his address, said that taking all-round care of elephants in zoos is the biggest challenge for Mahouts as they have to take care of the elephants in a restricted space.
He further said that Mahouts and Kavadis have more responsibilities than everyone else in zoos in taking care of elephants.
Zoo Deputy Director Manjunath, Assistant Director Dr. Ramesh, Dr. T.S. Rajiv, Director, Centre for Elephant Studies, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Thrissur and others were present. 35 mahouts from across the country are taking part in this programme, which concludes on Feb.8.