Chennai: In a case of animal cruelty that has raised concerns among wildlife activists, two mahouts were seen purportedly ill-treating an elephant in a camp at Thekkampatti. According to The Hindu, mahout Vinil Kumar and his assistant Sivaprasad kept hitting the legs of the 19-year-old female elephant Jayamalyatha of Andal Temple, Srivilliputhur, with sticks for about 20 seconds while it was heard trumpeting in pain. The video which was taken by a visitor to the elephants rejuvenation camp has drawn condemnation from the public and wildlife activists. The elephant, said to be from Srivilliputhur temple, was tied to a tree and being hit, the video reveals. Here’s the video: Also Read - A Family in Karachi Keeps Two Giraffes As Pets In Their House, Twitter Calls it 'Animal Cruelty' | Watch
When contacted, a source in HR&CE (HIndu Religious and Charitable Endowments) Department which organised the 48-day camp said higher officials too had seen the video and one of the mahouts has been placed under suspension pending departmental inquiry.
According to preliminary investigations, the incident occurred when the elephant was allegedly not obeying the mahout’s commands. Angered by its behaviour, Kumar and Sivaprasad chained the elephant to a tree and attacked it, the officials said.
A total of 26 elephants from various temples and mutts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were brought to Thekampatti in Coimbatore district for the nearly two-month long rejuvenation camp on February 8. The camp for temple and mutt elephants is being held annually.