Dasara elephant Sarala to skip Jamboo Savari this year

She was dropped considering her age

Sarala, an elephant that had participated in the Jamboo Savari over a dozen times, may be withdrawn from the Dasara duties this year.

The 72-year-old jumbo, which was expected to participate in this year’s procession, was rested considering age.

As per the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, elephants aged above 65 should not be used for any “hard work”.

Sarala originally belonged to Balle camp, but is now said to be in Thithimathi forests in Kodagu.

Speaking to The Hindu, Deputy Conservator of Forests Karikalan said Sarala was dropped from the Dasara jumbo team this year to comply with the MoEF guidelines. She was replaced by Cauvery.

“We are thinking of giving a retirement to Sarala. It will be decided after the Dasara,” he said.

Sarala was accompanying former lead elephant Balarama, along with another female elephant in the Vijayadashami procession.

Mary and Varalakshmi are likely to be the ‘kumkhi’ elephants (companions) for the howdah-elephant Arjuna.

A Forest Department source said Sarala had taken part in at least 15 Dasara processions.

Balarama, a 56-year-old tusker that carried the 750-kg golden howdah 12 times in a row since 1999 during the Jamboo Savari, is part of this year’s team. Balarama was rested last year because of its slow movements during rehearsals.

Durga Parameshwari, a 47-year-old female elephant, made her debut in last year’s Jamboo Savari. It replaced long-serving Dasara elephant 77-year-old Kanthi, which died recently.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 2:49:19 AM |

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