One-eyed celebrity elephant Thechikottukavu Ramachandran has been banned from being paraded at temple festivals due to health problems.

Save Raman Thrissur Collectors FB page filled with demand to lift ban on elephant
news Animal rights Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 09:41

On Thursday, Thrissur district collector TV Anupama’s Facebook page carried a post on the yellow alert issued in Kerala’s coastal area. However, out of the 70 comments on her post, many were unrelated to the yellow alert, and pertained to an elephant.

Several users posted images with a message - ‘Save Ramachandran’ - and the face of an elephant under the said post, demanding that the ban on Kerala’s tallest elephant Thechikottukavu Ramachandran be lifted immediately. The one-eyed celebrity tusker, which belongs to the Peramamgalam Thechikottukavu temple, had been banned from being paraded in temple festivals in Kerala, including the district’s famous Thrissur Pooram, in which he earlier played a prominent role.  

“This is not a request, this is our right. You are a servant of the public and hence we don’t need to request. You are breaking the sentiments of a people who have celebrated elephants and Pooram and temple festivals. We want Raman back,” read one comment.

“Kindly grant the permission so that Raman can come back for Pooram,” read another.

In February, the 54-year-old tusker trampled two persons to death and injured seven others during a housewarming ceremony in Guruvayoor. Having killed over 11 people and 3 elephants prior to this, Ramachandran is branded as one of the most dangerous elephants in Kerala and had also been banned from parading in festivals by Kerala High Court over six times, with the last ban issued in 2016. Despite this, the elephant continued to be paraded and covered anywhere between 70-80 temples in the state every season.

The Thrissur Pooram, often referred to as the mother of all Poorams, is an annual temple festival in Kerala which sees several elephants. Raman has been the highlight of the Pooram for several years, and has kickstarted the festival on the first day.

On March 25, the chief wildlife warden said in a statement that the elephant was facing health-related issues, and banned temple authorities from parading him for functions. The order was issued after a five-member committee examined Ramachandran and deemed him unfit for being paraded.

There have been several protests from both elephant enthusiasts and elephant owners association in the state, demanding that the ban be lifted.

However, the tusker has many fans who have been demanding that the ban be lifted. Ever since the ban was put in place, Facebook pages titled ‘Save Raman’ have been created, asking for the ban to be lifted. A group of elephant owners have also threatened to remove all elephants from the festival if the ban on Ramachandran is not lifted.

Thrissur collector TV Anupama, however, stated that the ban on the tusker will continue as he is not fit to attend festivals and the Pooram.

 

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