Umaria (Madhya Pradesh): Getting a break from their routine life, 14 elephants deployed for patrolling, tiger tracking and other tasks in Madhya Pradesh's Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve are currently enjoying a week-long vacation during which they are being pampered, groomed and served their favourite food, an official said.
The seven-day rejuvenation camp, named 'Gaj Mahotsav', began at Tala in the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR) in Umaria on Saturday in order to provide some respite to the mammoths from their daily hard work, sub-divisional officer, forest, Shraddha Pendre, told reporters on Sunday.
"The week-long Gaj Mahotsav is being held till September 10. During this period, the elephants are being washed, groomed and decorated with sandalwood powder and they are being offered their favourite food," she said.
The rejuvenation camp is organised to send out a message that the animals are equally important in this ecosystem, the official said.
Ram Dulare, a mahout at the BTR, said for the entire year, these elephants are engaged for tracking the tigers and other forest-related works, but now they have been left free to rejuvenate and have some leisure time.
"We massage them with oil and decorate them after giving them a bath. They are offered their favourite foods like banana, apple and sugarcane. One elephant is served 10-15 coconuts, four-five kg of apples, five dozen bananas and two kg of jaggery every day," he said.
According to forest officials, tourists can visit the rejuvenation camp at Tala between 11 am and 12 noon to catch a glimpse of how the jumbos are being pampered and groomed.
However, public participation has been limited for the second year in a row in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, they added.
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