Kerala

Standing tall for a sumptuous feast

Nothing unsurmountable: An elephant stands on its hind legs and plucks jackfruits at Silent Valley National Park’s buffer zone on Tuesday evening.

Nothing unsurmountable: An elephant stands on its hind legs and plucks jackfruits at Silent Valley National Park’s buffer zone on Tuesday evening.  

Video on elephant rearing on its hind legs in Silent Valley goes viral

Forest watcher Bijo Baby never thought that a 30-second video he shot on his mobile phone would bring him immeasurable joy and recognition. His video of a wild tusker on its hind legs leaning against a tree and plucking a jackfruit has gone viral on social media. Hundreds of people shared the clip and thousands wowed incredulously at the elephant’s action.

Mr. Baby was relaxing along with four other workmates after their day’s duty at the Kannampally camp shed near Kalkundu in the Silent Valley National Park’s buffer zone on Tuesday evening. It was around 6 p.m., and Mr. Baby and team could not believe their eyes when they saw a tusker plucking a jackfruit which was at a height of 25 feet near their shed.

“We have seen elephants plucking and eating jackfruits. But it was a rare sight. Actually, this is a first in my life,” said Mr. Baby, who has been a watcher in the Silent Valley National Park for the past 12 years.

Mr. Baby lives in Attappady along with his wife and two children.

His friends Thomas John, Manikandan, Kurumban, and Suresh too shot videos. But Mr. Baby got it neat and close.

Twice

“After eating the first jackfruit, the tusker plucked the second one too in the same way by raising its front legs stretching full length and grabbing the fruit with its trunk. It was an amazing sight to witness an elephant rising two times its height,” he said.

Elephants are so fond of jackfruits that they often come out of the wild to eat the fruit. They often get the fruit from the height by shaking the tree violently.

There are two dozen jackfruit trees near the Kannampally camp shed, about 8 k.m. from Karuvarakundu. Forest officials said elephants usually come at night and get the jackfruits, especially in the season.

Gets praise

Silent Valley National Park Wildlife Warden Samuel Vanlalngheta Pachuau, showering the watcher with praise, said the Kannampally area was a regular elephant route in the national park’s buffer zone. He said he was amazed at the video.

“We know that elephants are intelligent animals. I have seen elephants crossing very high fences. But plucking the jackfruit by almost climbing the tree and reaching the animal’s double height is amazing. It is first time here,” said Mr. Pachuau.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 6:03:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/standing-tall-for-a-sumptuous-feast/article31644595.ece

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