Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala-being home to a large number of captive jumbos that are part of the state’s culture, will soon have old-age homes for aged elephants in the state. The aged jumbos will get specialized care for their ailments with the government deciding to set up a geriatric centre for them.
The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages a large number of temples in southern Kerala, will set up the geriatric care centre.
Temple elephants, suffering from various age-related ailments, will be shifted to the geriatric centre and provided special care and treatment under trained mahouts and veterinarians.
The centre had been planned in view of the increasing number of aged jumbos and their plight reported from temples managed by the board, TDB officials said.
A meeting convened by the TDB and attended by veterinarians and dewaswom officials took a final decision in this regard recently.
Devaswom commissioner P Venugopal said the geriatric care centre would be set up either in Thiruvananthapuram or in a suitable location in central Kerala.
Mahouts would be given special traning for the upkeep of these jumbos as part of the plan, he said.
The board has also decided to prepare dossiers for all elephants kept by various temples that come under the TDB’s purview.
Elephants are a major attraction of the temple festivals in Kerala with the Thrissur Pooram being the chief among them. They are attended by large number of people, including foreigners.
The famous Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple and Eattumanur Mahadeva Temple are among over 1,200 temples managed by the TDB.