Ending months of long wait, Vallabhan's tusks trimmed finally
Malayinkeezhu (Thiruvananthapuram): Tusker Vallabhan of Malayinkeezhu Sreekrishnaswamy Temple is now happy after his long tusks were trimmed beautifully. The elephant was struggling to hold his head high literally to take food after the tusks grew longer and heavier. He has been waiting for tusk trimming for a long time.
One year ago, the Devaswom Board had forwarded a letter to the Forest Department requesting to take action for tusk trimming. But they could not proceed with it as COVID lockdown was imposed. Also the elephant was in musth period.
'Mathrubhumi' reported the struggle of Vallabhan after his tusks grew heavier. Following this, the chief wildlife warden granted permission to trim the tusks of the elephant on November 20. All arrangements were made for trimming.
However, the forest department allowed only trimming and not smoothening after the tusks were cut. With this, the tusks were not trimmed at all. Though the forest department agreed to this demand later, the Devaswom board refused as they did not get any official notification.
Finally, both parties reached a consensus and decided to trim the tusks on Friday. The forest department officials arrived at 7 in the morning. However, the veterinary doctors reached only by 9.30 am. Forest department veterinary doctor V S Shiju demanded the presence of range officer and left.
Range officer Divya S Rose came by 10. The doctor also came back by 10.30 am and measured the tusks. It took about 3 hours to trim both tusks and smoothen them. Tusks were trimmed by Ernakulam Elamakkara native Vinayan.
Tranvancore Devaswom Board and the local residents purchased Vallabhan from Palakkad and gifted to Malayinkeezhu Sreekrishnaswamy temple in 2002. Vallabhan had already made headlines with his skill to hold painting brush with trunk and draw pictures on board since the age of 5. Now he is about 26 years old.
The Devaswom Board and Forest Department had trimmed Vallabhan’s long tusks in 2014. But the tusks grew to a length of 1.5 metres again. He was unable to carry load. While lying down, the tusks used to rub against the ground causing difficulties.