When Chittilappilly Davis’ body was kept in Swaraj round in Kerala’s Thrissur district on Monday for people to pay their last respects, some unusual visitors came in.
Walking in to see Davis one last time were four tuskers, who stood by the man whose life was dedicated to the welfare of elephants.
One of the tuskers - Akkavila Vishnu Narayan - raised his trunk as a mark of respect towards the 68-year-old.
In his native Thrissur, Davis was popularly known as “Aana Davis” (Aana means Elephant in Malayalam) for his love for elephants.
Davis, who was a popular figure at temple festivals, and was the district president of Elephants Owner's Federation, suffered a heart attack and passed away on Sunday.
People in Thrissur remember 'Aana Davis' as someone who spent his lifetime working for the welfare of elephants and the families of mahouts.
Recalling Davis' activities, Thiruvambadi Devaswom Board president Prof Madhavan Kutty says, "He would spend extensively on treatment of unwell elephants, mahouts and their families. He was a true human in every sense. He was someone who rose above religious differences and worked for religious harmony.”
“Davis was born Christian, but that never stopped him in his love for elephants and temple festivals. The same was reflected when his body was displayed for the public to pay their respects," Prof Madhavan Kutty says.
(All photographs by Najeeb KK)