“In the absence of its mahout and assistant, the elephant was not taken for its morning walk and not given bath as it may need a day or two to get familiarised with its new caretaker. It is nothing to worry as the animal is however bonding well with him,” said an official of the Forest Department.
All elephants used to be taken for a walk on the mud track twice daily and given a refreshing bath in a shower at an elevated platform on the camp premises. However, the ordeal of elephant Jayamalyatha from Srivilliputhur Andal Temple continues as it remains chained to a tree since Sunday.
After the disturbing video of the assault triggered an outrage among the wild life conservationists, the elephant was examined by a veterinarian and was found to be in good health.
“The elephant is in good health and has not suffered any external injuries,” said A Sugumar, veterinarian of Coimbatore Forest Department.
It’s mahout Vinil Kumar (46) and his assistant Siva Prasath (32) were arrested under section 51 of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and remanded in judicial custody in Avinashi sub jail. They both were caught on camera caning the animal which was chained to a tree on its hind legs. The elephant was seen trumpeting in pain, but that did not deter the duo from thrashing the animal.
“In the absence of its caretakers, Subramaniam, an assistant to the mahout for a temple elephant from Tiruchendur took responsibility of tending Jayamalyatha. He is already known to the elephant as he was assisting Vinil Kumar during the last three camps at Thekkampatti. He fed the elephant with fodder and fruits on Monday,” added Sugumar.
In another development, the public and media, who were allowed to the campsite till Sunday were barred entry from Monday following the incident.