ANDHRA PRADESH

Mahouts tame rogue elephant

Reformed: Vijay is back among visitors of the Nehru Zoological Park after a rather solitary existence.

Reformed: Vijay is back among visitors of the Nehru Zoological Park after a rather solitary existence.   | Photo Credit: - PHOTO: M. SUBHASH

Zoo staff now start treating the pachyderm like other elephants



Vijay was chained for the past three years

Mahouts took one month to tame the animal



HYDERABAD: Shedding three years of chained and rogue existence, Vijay is out for a stroll among visitors at Nehru Zoological Park these days. The rogue elephant which was chained and confined to a rather solitary existence after it went berserk, has finally fallen in line and not only it is taking commands but also moving around freely and comfortably.

It took two mahouts who have been brought in from the Top Slip elephant camp of Tamil Nadu to tame the elephant and make it behave normal. “I was moved by the plight of the animal and there were several representations from animal lovers too. So, we sought the assistance of mahouts who worked for last one month on the elephant,” says zoo director K. Bhoopal Reddy.

Tranquilised

It was almost three years back when Vijay went violent and out of control and started damaging enclosure and surrounding structures. None was injured as it was night time and no visitors were around.

The elephant was immediately tranquilised and kept in fetters since then which left some injuries on the legs. After it went rogue, Vijay forgot commands and the habit of obeying them. “Slowly, it was made to recollect the commands and now behaves like any other tamed one in the zoo,” he says.

Initially, the elephant was allowed to take a stroll in the mornings and evenings when there were no visitors and also on two Mondays when the zoo was closed for holiday. Now, it obeys commands to kneel, salute and move and halt and after careful watch, the authorities started bringing it out from the enclosure amid the visitors.

The zoo staff which was scared to even move in its proximity given the violent behaviour, have now started treating it like other elephants.

“It is even allowing the mahout to sit on it and moving comfortably among crowds. Its shackles are gone and it is free now,” Mr. Reddy informs.

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