Elephants get a retirement home in Kerala district

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 21, 2010 14:00 hrs

A unique retirement home for elephants in Kottor village in Kerala's Kozhikode District takes care of sick, old and injured pachyderms under the supervision of a team of specialized doctors.

The Kappukadu Elephant Rehabilitation Centre at the Agasthyavanam Biological Park was inaugurated last year with a campus of 10 acres surrounded by forestland.

The centre has only one aged elephant, named Renji, who is estimated to be 76 years in age. Renji was retired from service with the Kerala Forest Department at 65, and was the first inmate of this retirement home.

There are four elephants for active service and are used for giving rides to tourists.

"The riding is fantastic. I have never seated on the elephant for that long and it's quite comfortable. You don't need to hold on 20 second if you are pretty higher. So it's fantastic, it's a nice experience in the forest," said Matt Bell, a tourist from the UK.

"It was very nice on the elephant ride and I would have loved to see them bathing but today is a colder day so they couldn't," said Liza, an Australian tourist.

In Kerala, the retirement age of an elephant is fixed at 65, after which it is retired from all work, including religious processions. By Juhan Samuel (ANI)

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