Kerala

Majestic in heart and soul

: Ammu, at 10 months, frolicked in her kraal at the Muthanga Ecotourism Centre. Bomman, her trainer, was pleased. She was all of three months when brought to the kraal, bruised by the waters from a river at Kanhirakkolly under the Taliparamba forest range in Kannur. Her weak condition then was a cause of concern. Bommen, 65, and his wife have tendered the elephant with love and care and reared her to her majestic self.

“We provided medical care to Ammu, but the parenting by Bommen and his wife was crucial in saving her life, says P. Dhaneshkumar, warden-in-charge, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Since Day 1, Bomman and his wife have been at Ammu’s beck and call. They shifted their residence to a makeshift place close to the kraal to care for her.

Their daily activities have been centred on the movement of the calf.

I have reared four elephant calves — Sujatha, Jyothi, Laila and Sundari. Ammu is the latest, says Bomman. The first three were auctioned off and Sundari was taken to the Konni elephant camp when she grew up.

“The separation from Sundari was a shock to him and he was in despair for many months,” his wife said.

“I have decided not to train Ammu out of fear that the Forest Department officials would separate us,” he adds.

Bomman began his career as a trainer of captive elephants at the age of 17 after learning the basics of elephant training from his father, Onakkan, who was a mahout with the Karnataka State Forest Department. I have trained more than 40 captive elephants, he said.



Bomman, a tribal elephant trainer, has spared no effort to bring back Ammu from the brink.



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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 10:19:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/Majestic-in-heart-and-soul/article14000885.ece

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