Free Press Journal

Haathi Mere Saathi: All that they need is love and freedom


54-year-old Moti is one of the eldest mammals in city zoo, famous for welcoming top dignitaries with garlands, including former PM Indira Gandhi. After being chained for over 13 years and failing to take the pain anymore, about a decade ago Moti lost his temperament and attacked a mahout. Following the incident a PIL was filed in court against cruelty to Moti, after which he was freed

Indore : Visitors indeed had a gala time with the eldest member of city zoo, the graceful Moti, as they utilised every bit of the opportunity to meet him up close, provided by zoo administration under its World Elephant Day celebration on Saturday.

The special event to spend some good times with none other than giant elephants at the zoo was designed as part of various educative activities undertaken by the zoo administration to instil love and sympathy for the animal in the heart of citizens.

However, ‘feed-show’, wherein visitors were allowed to offer food to the elephants, was the major point of attraction. People from different age-groups enjoyed the show and felt happy to get closer to the small-eyed animals. Swinging their huge trunks in gay, the elephants responded to the visitors and trumpeted to much of their ecstasy and entertainment.

Sharing some history of the eldest friend Moti, zoo education officer Nihar Parulekar said, “Moti is one of the eldest mammals in city zoo; he is 54-year-old now and also a very gentle and loving creature.”

“Moti has been quite famous because of his skills, like articulating various shows and especially, garlanding people. He is the only elephant of Indore zoo, which used to welcome top dignitaries with garlands, including former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi,” Parulekar said.

However, he rued “For Moti, it is not fame that he desires; he needs freedom.” He explained that “Moti was tamed and disciplined to become a skilled animal till an incident changed his image into a beast.”

Narrating the story Parulekar said “After being chained for over thirteen years and failing to take the pain anymore, about a decade ago Moti lost his temperament and attacked a mahout. Following the incident a PIL was filed in court against cruelty to Moti, after which he was freed.”

Despite strong apprehensions that Moti would not be able to tolerate human beings anymore after the incident, visitors still find him as one of the friendliest and gentle mammals in the city zoo, the officer said.

Later, a documentary film on elephants and their care was screened, which was highly enjoyed by the visitors. After learning about habitat loss, degradation and other such issues are endangering Asian elephants, many felt the need of honest effort towards preserving the gigantic animal.

What They Say…

Elephants are the kindest mammals of all. I always feel calmer and happier around them. I am so happy to be a part of the event. I love the feed-show. Since elephants are good learners, they associate with regular people. It was amazing to see them respond to us. I hope to be able to spread awareness about the need for conservation of elephants. – Aishani Jain, Art student

Elephant is one of the largest creatures on land. But, despite that it is not on the top of food chain. Saving elephants is synonymous with saving forests. The most amazing thing about elephant is their gentle nature despite the huge size. I think we have a lot to learn from them – Sajid Lod, Tennis coach

There are not enough words to express what we feel when we are around elephants. Moti is a loving and gentle animal. I can understand his psyche behind the attack. Imagine, how a human would react to someone, who chained him for 13 years without a reason. I loved the show today as elephants seemed happy. – Manish Jain, Businessman

These wonderful creatures are selfless lovers, who can heal a broken soul. I cannot express how wonderful it feels to spend time with them. Sadly, because of unethical behaviour these animals are often forced into a harsh life. Every animal has a right to live, but we destroy their homes and enslave them. It is not fair. I hope that people spend time with elephants and understand them instead of harassing them. – Piyush Kothari, Businessman