Vets examine Salem jumbo, to submit report

Following the Madras High Court’s direction, a team of veterinary experts on Wednesday examined the health of Rajeshwari, the ailing resident elephant of Arulmigu Sugavaneswarar temple in Salem on Wednesday.
Rajeshwari, the temple elephant
Rajeshwari, the temple elephant


“The elephant was thoroughly examined by a team of experts. A detailed medical report on the elephant’s health will be submitted to HR & CE officials, who will then decide on the next course of action,” said S Loganathan, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Salem district. 
However, the veterinarians refused to reveal the outcome of their examination, stating that it would be made known only in the court. 
Following a public interest petition, the High Court had granted nod for mercy killing of the jumbo, if certified by a team of veterinary experts that it would be cruel to keep her alive. 
Meanwhile, a team of Sidha doctors, who examined Rajeshwari, appealed for the revision of the court’s order. 
The doctors stated the elephant, which is unable to stand on its feet, had developed bedsores as it was constantly lying on the ground. 
“The elephant is not able to stand due to its broken limbs. And it is not suffering from any other major ailment. Hence the court should review its order permitting the mercy killing,” said Thangadurai, a Sidha doctor. The jumbo’s mahout had also expressed his anguish against the court’s permission. 
Meanwhile, devotees continued to make a beeline to look at the ailing elephant at the temple premises. Rajeshwari was brought to Arulmigu Sugavaneswarar Temple from Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) by HR & CE department as a fouryear-old calf in 1980. 
Forest department sources said that the jumbo didn’t participate in any of the annual rejuvenation camps for temple elephants. In 2008, the elephant had slipped when being loaded into a lorry. 
A team of doctors from Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) and veterinary experts were treating the animal for the past one month.

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