Coimbatore: After multiple efforts to reunite it with its mother and other herds went in vain, the three-month-old male elephant calf was designated as a captive animal and shifted to the Theppakadu elephant camp in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) on Sunday. The forest department made eight attempts to reunite the calf with its mother and another four attempts to reunite it with other herds.
Dr A Sukumar, forest veterinary officer, Coimbatore Forest division said, “After getting permission from the chief wildlife warden, the elephant calf was shifted to the camp at Theppakadu.” He added that the calf was transported in a sports utility vehicle and fed around 10 litres of milk during the journey.
D Venkatesh, conservator of forests and field director, MTR, said that the elephant calf is currently being housed inside a kraal (a wooden enclosure) for safety reasons. “A mahout and a cavady have been allotted to take care of the calf,” he added.
The calf was first spotted accompanying its 40-year-old sick mother at the foothills of Marudhamalai in Coimbatore forest division on May 30. Forest department staff were caring for both the mother and her calf. The calf which was dependent on its lactating mother stayed with her for the first two days, before joining its sibling in the reserve forest. On June 3, the mother elephant was released into the forest after it regained its health. Forest frontline staff were deputed to monitor the elephants.
N Jayaraj, district forest officer (DFO), Coimbatore forest division said “The elephant calf was separated from its herd in the early hours of June 5. Our team closely followed the calf, rescued it and rejuvenated it. We soon begun operations to unite the calf with its mother and subsequently other herds.” A mahout, a cavady (assistant) and forest field staff were also involved in the efforts.

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