Visitors are arriving in large numbers at the elephant rehabilitation in Kottur, near Kappukadu, in Thiruvananthapuram district as the facility has now opened after remaining closed for seven months as part of the lockdown. There are 15 elephants in the centre at present, including the oldest tusker Soman, aged 78 years and the youngest, one-year-old Sreekutty.
Other baby elephants giving company to Sreekutty include Poorna (four-and-a-half years), Manu (three-and-a-half years), Maya (three years) and another Manu (two-and-a-half years).
Entry is allowed for the public at Kottur from 8 am to 5 pm. A fee of Rs 40 for adults and Rs 25 for children is charged. The centre remains closed on Mondays.
Every morning, all the elephants take a bath in the reservoir and line up for breakfast. After food, the large elephants are taken to their cages around 11 am, while the babies would stay at the ground on the premises of the Forest Range office. Visitors can watch the young elephants at this ground.
In the evening, all the inmates are given another bath and again arrive for food. They would then remain until the last visitor leaves.
A major attraction at Kottur is the elephant parade held every Saturday and Sunday in which all elephants, including Soman and Sreekutty, take part. The parade presents a curious sight as the elephants move in a line, each jumbo holding the tail of the one in front with its trunk.