This elephant misses his mahout, authorities seek police help

Evoor Kannan, the elephant attached to Evoor Sreekrishna Swamy Temple . Photo:Special arrangement.

Alappuzha: Evoor Kannan, the elephant known for his murderous rage and with a history of killing two mahouts is in a bad mood these days. He had been gentle under the care of his former mahout Sharath Parippally. When he got transferred in December, Kannan relapsed to menacing temper; snorting in anger and acting aggressively.

The mahout who came as replacement for Sharath has now gone missing. Given his violent past, nobody dares go near him, unchain and feed him. The elephant stands unmoved in the same place. He doesn't eat. His health has been failing. The place where he stands has caved in and his hind legs seem stuck there

Left with no other option,  The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) authorities filed a complaint with the Kariyilakulangara police station on Wednesday evening, stating that the temporary mahout, put in charge of 32-year-old Evoor Kannan, is "absconding" and that the elephant’s health is falling with each passing day.

"It was left at the temple compound chained for some time. When the animal lovers and residents protested over the plight of Kannan, the TDB appointed a temporary mahout Vinod. However, the elephant showed resistance to the new mahout who has also been missing for the last few days," said Somashekara Pillai, a local resident and elephant lover.

"We are concerned about his health. For days it has been chained at the same spot where the earth has caved in a little. It faces the threat of the disease ‘Irandakettu’," Pillai pointed out. 

When contacted a senior police officer of Kariyilakulangara said they have received a complaint of the mahout missing.

"He had gone on two days' leave and has not returned since. We launched a search for him but his mobile phone was found switched off. However, it’s the TDB which should take other actions like deploying a new mahout and all," the officer pointed out.

Local residents pointed out that the elephant was relatively calm ever since Sharath became its caretaker. "But despite his requests, the TDB refused to make him a permanent staff, and this forced him to go to Guruvayoor. The elephant won’t follow the instructions of anyone else. It’s days since it has been given a bath and all," Pillai said.

Despite the tragic episodes associated with the elephant,the TDB had listed him as a parading elephant when Sharath was his caretaker and he  used to feature in around 130 programmes a year.

"We’ve filed a police complaint against the mahout, a native of Thiruvananthapuram. We’ve been trying to get in touch with him for the past couple of days. In between, he promised to come to this office this morning, but his phone is now switched off and is yet to appear," an official on condition of anonymity said

"The elephant can’t be unchained without him, as it may result in a law and order situation if the jumbo turns violent. We’ve brought a veterinary doctor and inspected the elephant, who said its condition is satisfactory as of now, but advised that the mahout should be brought at the earliest,"the official said.

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