Ooty: A male elephant calf, who was abandoned by his herd in the Hosur forest range in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district, is now privileged to have a very loving and supportive couple as his caretakers.
Ever since the year-and-a-half-old calf was rescued and brought to the Theppakadu Elephant Camp in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, he has formed a strong bond with his mahout Bomman and his wife Belli.
He shows up promptly when they call him and patiently waits for them to feed him. They too show great patience and compassion while dealing with his tantrums.
Both Bomman and Belli live in a room adjacent to the enclosure where the calf is housed, taking care of him round-the-clock. The two communicate with him through hand gestures and postures and he responds to them, they said.
“He is very playful and intelligent. He would come rushing the moment he hears my voice. If he sees an outsider, he would come and hide behind me,” Bomman said.
The forest officers are now searching for a good name for him.
When the calf was rescued in July 2017 by foresters, he was in a critical condition. He was very weak and there were wounds all over his body. He regained health and started feeding well after undergoing treatment at the elephant camp.
E Vijayaraghavan, forest veterinarian, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, is monitoring the veterinary care of the animal. Apart from medicines and a nutritious diet, massage therapy with olive oil is also a part of the rehabilitation program, the doctor said.
According to Bomman, kicking a football around is the little tyke's favorite pastime. “He gets upset when I’m not around. So, I’m not able to go anywhere,” he added smilingly.