|Posted by Sathesh on June 24, 2009 at 10:19 PM|
I took this photograph yesterday (25th June 2009)morning on the way to my office in the Pulpally, Bathery road near Irulam, a small village in the middle of forest, he is " Maniyan" probably the first wild elephant with such a sweet pet name (in many case the wild animals were named with some tough names like "killer?,"night mare" etc).
he is standing in the forest very near to that village centre, about 50 meters away from the bus stop where school children are waiting for buses and where the auto rickshaws where parked, excuse my bad photographic skills and not for taking a photograph with the local people including the school boys who standing very close to him at a hand distance (an elephant hand distance, that means the trunk distance)
He is a full grown tusker ,heavy built and with strong long tusks, and for the last one month he is there near the human habitat very much obeyed to the principles of co living ,what compelled the animal to stay around is that its limited mobility due to a wounded limb ,that may probably resulted from a fight with other one for dominance .
Usually there is every chance for a defeated and wounded single male to turn rough and problem elephant , but his incapacity made him to stay almost still near that village which is blessed with green fodder and level grounds,
The continues stay in a limited area of about 3sq kilometers increased the animals chance to human contact, and definitely his wounded limb and limited mobility made the people dare enough to approach him in closer limits and even some of them started feeding him with bananas and other things.
The people who depend forest for their lively hood also started collecting firewood and all at his close presence and thus the process of co living started, it is very funny that these same days there happening strong farmers demonstrations against elephant crop raids in all most all part of wayanad..here the people of this area was very keen about their pet elephants health ,and they demanded the forest officers to intervene this issue and do necessary to treat the animal, their favorite "Maniyan "
then team of five eminent veterinarians were deputed for the necessary treatment of this bull and they studied the situation and decided adetailed plan for tranquilize and treat, and made it effective on the next day.
On examination of the wounds after tranquilization it revealed that may be most probably resulted from the fight ,and discarded the possibilities of a shot wound..Treatment including some minor surgical interventions was carried out with the help ofthe two"Khunkhi " camp elephants, and revived the animal post treatment...
Now he is improving his mobility, and can cover more distance ,but he never goes beyond that area where he feels the warmth of love and care from the local people ,and people too considered him as a part of their village life and always observing his condition.
When buses passes through the area everybody looks for "maniyan "and feel little upset when he is missing for a while ,every body is worried about him ,and his good tusks makes their tension intense ,since a disabled animal with good tusks isalways at risk. but the constant vigilance of the surrounding people protects their favorite friend from all misfortunes,
I report this story here with pleasure since it represents the love and care showered to a wild Elephant by the local people of irulam, a forest village in Wayanad district, where Man animal conflict is intense and that many times lead to the miserable death of animals, mainly these beautiful large mammals...
I salute the locals of that area for such a noble service they rendered to a disabled animal and congratulate the forest team and team of doctors who attended the animal with total commitment.