13 TN mahouts return from Thailand
CHENNAI: As many as 13 mahouts, cavadies of Tamil Nadu Forest department who went to Thailand for capacity building were welcomed back by Minister M Mathiventhan at Arignar Anna Zoological Park on Monday.
Six mahouts/cavadies from Anamalai Tiger Reserve and seven from Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, overall, 13 of them returned from Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC) after a six-day training on various elephant care.
The team was accompanied by two forest rangers and two livestock inspectors from the reserves, as well.
And, in the training, the staff were taught, scientifically handling of elephants, to train and bathe them, ways to prepare nutritious food for ailing elephants, to treat and tame wild elephants and special training on taking care of baby elephants.
Speaking of the experience, M Sundervel, Forest Range Officer (FRO), Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Pollachi said, "Though we are strong in traditional ways of elephant care, we got the opportunity to learn TECC's scientific methods too. Through this, cavadies got the exposure to understand and deepen their knowledge on elephant care."
"TECC mostly deals with captive elephants, whereas we handle wild elephants largely. Hence, they appreciated our methods on dealing with wild elephants as well,” added FRO.
TECC in Lampang, Thailand was chosen by the government due to its scientific approach of managing elephants.
While praising the forest staff returning from the training, the minister said, "The Chief Minister has been announcing and implementing various schemes, including various training to employees to refresh them."
"The announcement of various new schemes and bird sanctuaries is part of wildlife conservation by the forest department,” added the minister.
The minister further added that special training will be given to other staff through specially trained elephant staff in Thailand and steps will be taken to take better care of the elephants in Mudumalai and Anamalai camps under the control of the department.
Lastly, the minister provided the staff with uniforms and confirmed that steps will be taken to fulfill the demands of the Vandalur zoo contract workers, as well.
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