World Elephant Day: 88-year-old 'Tara' in spotlight

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On the occasion of World Elephant Day, (August 12)  the cynosure of all eyes is 88-year-old elephant 'Tara,' who has been with the Guruvayoor Devasom for the past 64 years and is treated like a baby due to his advanced age.

World Elephant Day is observed on August 12 to honour these gentle giants and raise awareness about their preservation and protection around the world. Mahout Babu, Tara's companion for the past 12 years, is always by her side.

"She's been here for 64 years and, by our calculations, she should be 88. She is now being treated as if she were a newborn "Babu, who has a strong bond with her, said.

He elaborated on her eating habits, saying: "Her regular diet consists of dates, grains, and pulses. Her problem now is that she cannot lie down because she knows that if she does, getting up will be tough, so we usually find her standing. We've set up two large poles on the side for her to lean against "Babu said.

"We have a function today as part of World Elephant Day, where she will be honoured. Her vision has deteriorated as she has aged, as has her hearing capacity. Hence, we must repeat commands several times. But she is quite obedient; in the last three years, we have not used the stick to force her to obey "Babu added.

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