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Train mahouts well: animal rights activist

Special Correspondent
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Animal rights activist Maria Whitworth on Friday took part in a programme organised by the All-Kerala Elephant Owners' Association to improve man-elephant relations.

Elephant Owners' Coordination Society president T.A. Sundar Menon inaugurated the three-day programme.

Love for animals

Ms. Whitworth spent time with elephants and interacted with mahouts and veterinarians at the Sankarankulangara temple here. She examined an elephant named Vadakkunnathan Krishnan that ran amok in the city on July 18, triggering panic.

She said the key to reducing man-elephant conflict was training elephant handlers properly.

“Mahouts should be taught to love elephants and develop a bond with them. Elephants should be trained in a non-violent manner. Mahouts and owners should respect animal moods,” she said.

She stated that India had a tradition of worshipping elephants.

“An elephant is seen as Lord Ganesh. Hence, the animals should not be tortured as part of training.”

Ms. Whitworth is a wellness consultant. She had visited India in 2003 and conducted courses in communication with animals and spiritual wellness.

She also visited an animal shelter run by animal rights campaigner Maneka Gandhi.

All-Kerala Elephant Owners' Association president T. N. Arun Kumar presided over the function.

‘An elephant is seen as Lord Ganesh. Hence, the animals should not be tortured as part of training.'

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