Dasara pachyderms provide sheen to ‘Elephant Day’

Dasara jumbos being taken out in a procession in Mysuru on Thursday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Dasara jumbos being taken out in a procession in Mysuru on Thursday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM  

Dasara elephants, led by ‘ambari’ tusker Arjuna, played the role of messengers of their clan at the maiden ‘Elephant Day’ which was observed here on Thursday as part of wildlife week celebrations.

To observe ‘Elephant Day’ from this year onwards, Forest Department officials chose to observe the day in a meaningful way involving Dasara elephants, which are camping here.

Specially decked up for their day, all 12 Dasara jumbos marched on the procession route – from Balarama Gate of Mysuru Palace to Bannimantap – carrying printed slogans draped on their bodies. Schoolchildren joined the gentle giants carrying placards that read messages about guarding wild elephants which are being poached for their tusks.

Deputy Conservator of Forests, L. Kamala, told The Hindu that Elephant Day was observed for the first time and Dasara jumbos were engaged to spread awareness about pachyderms.

Interesting slogans attracted passers-by along the procession route as the caparisoned elephants majestically marched on Raja Marga with their mahouts and kavadis.

“In a symbolic way, the event was held and jumbos were used to express the need for celebrating the occasion,” she said. Arjuna carried the slogan (in Kannada) – I am the symbol of Dasara; Balarama – I am your pride: Kaveri – I have 6,000 family members (there is an estimate that about 6,000 elephants live in our forests).

Kenchamba, the new entrant to the jumbo team, carried the message – I am also part of the society. “Like this, all 12 jumbos carried slogans with the aim of educating the masses,” Ms. Kamala added.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:34:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dasara-pachyderms-provide-sheen-to-elephant-day/article7741551.ece

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