Elephant rejuvenation camp likely to be postponed due to pandemic

The annual rejuvenation camp for temple and mutt elephants held at Thekkampatti, near Mettupalayam, in Coimbatore district is likely to be postponed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Official sources at Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department here told The Hindu on Saturday that the State government is yet to announce a date for the camp. The HR&CE Department officials from Coimbatore recently sent the details regarding the camp to Commissioner of HR&CE Department S. Prabhakar, but a reply is awaited, the sources said.

With preparatory works yet to commence at Thekkampatti, the elephant rejuvenation camp is expected to begin either in the last week of December or the first week of January 2021. The previous elephant camp began on December 15, 2019 and ended on January 31, this year.

Sources said that the State government is examining the feasibility of conducting the elephant camp amid the pandemic, given the logistical challenges of transporting nearly 30 elephants from prominent temples and mutts across the State. The mahouts, veterinarians, officials and staff from the HR&CE Department as well as the Forest Department who participate in the camp may be required to undergo COVID-19 tests.

With the annual camp also attracting many visitors from across the State and the country every year, safety protocols such as personal distancing norms will most likely be put in place when held. The State government may consider these factors and will make an announcement, according to the sources.

When contacted, Coimbatore Collector K. Rajamani said that the district administration has not received any direction from the State government regarding the camp as of Saturday.

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 11:11:52 PM |

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