Chinna Thambi healthy, picking up commands quickly: forest officials

Dismiss media report which claimed the elephant’s health was on the decline

Chinna Thambi, the translocated wild elephant which was lodged in a kraal (wooden enclosure for taming) at Varagaliar near Topslip in February, is healthy and is learning commands fast, according to officials at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR).

They said mahouts were now able to sit on top of the animal using ropes suspended from the roof of the kraal.

“Chinna Thambi had shown characteristics of a domesticated elephant even before he was lodged in a kraal. He has learnt most of the commands taught by his trainers. Now, the mahouts are able to sit on top of the elephant using ropes,” said A.S. Marimuthu, deputy director, ATR.

The elephant is yet to learn the command to lift the foreleg for the mahout to climb and get on to the seating position or to lie down on the ground so that it can be bathed.

The mahouts teach 48 basic commands and their combinations during the training in the kraal. The training, which began on February 16, may continue for one or two more months. “Chinna Thambi is healthy, and Forest Department veterinarians are routinely checking its health,” he said.

N.S. Manoharan, Regional Joint Director of Veterinary Services, had visited and examined the elephant in the kraal on various occasions since February.

The animal is being given camp elephant food, comprising cooked grains with natural fodder, as per the diet chart prepared by the veterinarians. The elephant was translocated from Thadagam near Coimbatore to the kraal in Varagaliar due to habitual crop raiding.

The report carried by a Tamil news channel on Saturday that Chinna Thambi’s health had deteriorated was false and baseless, officials said.

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