All of nine months, Kannan stands tall as the youngest captive elephant in the State as per the census of captives.
The elephant calf had strayed into the human inhabited area of Chinnakanal, near Munnar, after it presumably got separated from the herd. Local people noticed the calf moving around Chinnakanal town in heavy rain on May 15. They informed Forest Department officials, who took care of it for two days before moving it to the elephant camp at Kottoor in Thiruvananthapuram district. The calf was three months old. Now, at nine months, Kannan is as the youngest in the list of captive elephants in the State.
The total number of captive elephants in the State is 521. While 10 captive elephants are registered in the district, only seven were there when the online census was taken as per the Supreme Court order, Saby Varghese, Assistant Conservator of Forest, Social Forestry Division, told The Hindu on Tuesday. He said the department was monitoring the movements of captive elephants while they were taken out for festivals or other purposes. He said there were norms with regard to moving elephants from one district to another. He said 41 captive elephants registered outside the district also enter the district.
As many as 30 captive elephants are at the elephant camps at Wayanad, Karippa, Konni and Kottoor.
Kannan is not alone in the Kottoor camp. He is in the company of four other calves — Arjun, Poorna, Manu and Maya. There are seven mahouts to take care of the calves, he said. There are 401 male elephants, 22 tuskless elephant (mozha) and 98 she elephants as per the census conducted on November 29.