As many as 28 captive elephants were lined up and mahouts sitting atop them held the national flag during the celebrations.
Meanwhile, the forest department staff involved in the rescue operation of a leopard that slipped into a well was honoured during the Republic Day celebrations at Ooty.
The Assistant Conservator of forest, Nilgiris forest division, K Saravana Kumar, gave away certificates of appreciation and cash rewards to the staff who rescued the leopard from the well.
“A 27-member team, including 12 uniformed staff and 15 temporary staff led by Kotagiri Forest range officer AMN Siva, had rescued the leopard from a well in Kotagiri. It was then released into the wild safely,” said an official.
Also, an anti-poaching watcher and a Rapid Response Team (RRT) member of the Nilgiris Forest Division were given certificates for their active involvement in the capture of a tiger at Masinagudi in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. Three more staff were honoured for nabbing the accused in connection with snaring of a leopard.