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Ooty villagers invoke God for their ‘love’

| | Chennai
Ooty villagers invoke God for their ‘love’

It may read like a romantic fiction straight out of the imagination of a nature lover’s mind. It could also be named  “Forest, Wild Elephant and  Villagers” in the lines of  ‘Man, Woman and A Child’ authored by Erich Segal. 

Ooty district in Tamil Nadu is witnessing a special relation between a wild elephant and the local community. The male elephant, named Ganeshan  is  55 years old and a darling of the people residing close to the Cherambadi forests in Ooty district. Though he is a wild elephant, Gaeshan is like a family member to the residents living in the periphery of the reserve forests. There has been no history of any kind of unpleasant incidents between Ganeshan and the locals.

The villagers offer him bananas, fruits, jaggery and even cooked rice whenever he makes his appearance outside the forests. For some time now,  he has been confined to O’Valley Range, a region known as a conflict-prone zone in forest parlance.

“Last week we found that Ganeshan was having a swollen foot and he was not in a position to move to his area in Cherambadi. He was not taking food and was not in a position to stand on his own. We  have intimated the division office and a veterinary specialist  has been summoned. The doctor is expected to reach the O’Valley Range by Wednesday morning with medicines and other paraphernalia,” said G Ramakrishnan, Forest Ranger, Gudalur.

Ramakrishnan disclosed that forest guard has been posted around the place where Ganeshan is taking rest. “There is slight improvement in his condition since we started attending to him. He ate whatever fodder and fruits we gave him and even walked for some time. But he is weak and needs medical attention,” he said.

Ramesh, an avid elephant lover from Walayar, said there is nothing unusual in the relation between Ganeshan and the villagers. “Elephants are more lovable than dogs. They become close to human beings if we start to love them,” he said.

Meanwhile, the local community is doing the only thing which they could do to save the life of Ganeshan. They are praying and offering special poojas at the Lord Ganesha Temple nearby.

Ramakrishnan is of the view that the bonding between Ganeshan and the locals could be a unique chapter in the annals of wildlife where incidents of man-animal conflicts galore.



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