Twenty six elephants from various temples and mutts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were brought to Thekampatti in Coimbatore for the nearly two month long rejuvenation camp, which got underway on Monday.
Nutritious food, top class treatment for ailments will be provided to the pachyderms at the 48-day camp, HR&CE department sources said.
The government has allocated Rs 1.67 crore for the camp and all steps are being taken for the safety and protection of the pachyderms, particularly to prevent entry of wild elephants from the jungles, they said.
An official from the forest department said six watchtowers have been set from different locations to monitor the camp, which will only see female elephants. Hence, the participating elephants are likely to attract male partners. About 50 personnel from Mettupalayam, Karamadai and Sirumugai forest ranges would be deployed every day at the camp, reports The Hindu.
There's a prescribed diet for the elephants that will include green fodder, fruits and supplements. The elephants will also undergo a six-minute walking test every morning.
Forest Minister Dindigul Srinivasan,Local Administration minister S P Velumani and HR&CE Minister Sevur S Ramachandran inaugurated the camp by feeding fruits and sugarcane to the elephants.
Coimbatore: A 48-day rejuvenation camp for temple elephants is underway at Theppakadu, Mettupalayam. 26 elephants are taking part in this camp in Tamil Nadu pic.twitter.com/RqD0gfqPgx— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2021
The annual camp, organised by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department since 2003, was introduced by
former chief minister Jayalalithaa.
However, over a hundred spectators including AIADMK cadre and general public were reportedly present on the inaugural event despite the coronavirus restrictions. Stricter Restrictions on visitors were supposedly to be implemented from Tuesday, according to the officials. The 48-day-long rejuvenation camp will end on March 27.
( with inputs from PTI )