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Beauty turns into burden for this pachyderm

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A bit too long: Thriprayar Ramachandran, the tusker with its overgrown tusks, is chained at the elephant cottage of the Devaswom at Thripunithura.
A bit too long: Thriprayar Ramachandran, the tusker with its overgrown tusks, is chained at the elephant cottage of the Devaswom at Thripunithura.

K.S. Sudhi

KOCHI: Thrippayar Ramachandran, the tusker of the Cochin Devaswom, is in distress. Tormented by the weight of its overgrown tusks, the elephant has been in musth for over two months.

The restive elephant has been isolated and tethered at the elephant cottage of the Devaswom near the Poornathrayeesa Temple.

At times, it tries to break free, twisting the chain with its trunk and holding it between the nearly three-feet-long tusks. The animal never tries to hide its displeasure and despair.

Its occasional trumpeting is in fact its muffled cry, says a local elephant enthusiast.

To vent its anger, it sometimes throws the stack of coconut leaf at the visitors.

Being in musth has prolonged its suffering due to the overgrown tusk. Though the Cochin Devaswom has started trimming the tusks of its elephants, Ramachandran’s case has been postponed.

“Ramachandran’s tusk will be cut only when its musth subsides. It may take one more month for that,” said V. Vijayakumar, manager of the Vadakkumnathan Devaswom.

Trimming of tusks

Meanwhile, the Devaswom completed the tusk-trimming of Achuthankutty and Govindan at Thrissur on Tuesday.

“The tusks would be first cut with handsaw. Later, it will be rasped. It is a painless process,” explained K. Radhakrishna Kaimal, the consultant veterinarian of the Devaswom.

The trimming would come as a great relief to the animal, which is finding it difficult to move its head freely and even feed comfortably. And Ramachandran is waiting for that day.

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