Watch: This is how abandoned elephant calves receive care at Theppakadu camp

Watch: This is how abandoned elephant calves receive care at Theppakadu camp
| Video Credit: SATHYAMOORTHY M

The Theppakadu camp in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu is known for caring for calves, with experienced mahouts and cavadis, or assistants

Updated - June 17, 2024 08:07 pm IST

Published - June 17, 2024 07:19 pm IST

One might recognise this place from the Oscar-winning documentary short film, The Elephant Whisperers. Abandoned elephant calves are brought here and are provided special care.

Wild elephant calves aged four months and five months, that were abandoned by their mothers, and found at Sathyamangalam and Periyanaickenpalayam forests earlier this year,  are now being tended to at Theppakadu Elephant Camp, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.

Wild elephant calves aged four months and five months, that were abandoned by their mothers, and found at Sathyamangalam and Periyanaickenpalayam forests earlier this year, are now being tended to at Theppakadu Elephant Camp, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. | Photo Credit: SATHYAMOORTHY M

Much like human-babies, tending to the needs of elephant calves is a whole lot of work. From preparing warm milk, to feeding the baby elephants, to taking them for a walk, it takes four men to take care of one calf.

The calves demand to feed 12 to 14 times a day, drinking 1.5 litres of formula milk each time. They have a fenced-in space for strolls nearby, and sleep on jute sack beds that have a thin filling of coconut fibre.

ALSO READ | Elephant calf separated from mother near Coimbatore shifted to Theppakadu elephant camp

No one apart from the caretakers are allowed near them as they are very sensitive. Every person who is to enter the kraal, has to dip their feet in a solution of potassium permanganate placed at the entrance, to prevent infections.

Reporting: Akila Kannadasan

Visuals: Sathyamoorthy M

Production and Voiceover: Yuvasree S

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