Thiruvananthapuram: The Forest Department has booked two mahouts on the charge of cruelty to animals. The mahouts have been accused of mistreating a captive elephant owned by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB).
The case came to light on March 29. According to Forest enforcers, the management of Kozhimada Temple at Murukumpuzha had hired the TDB elephant, Kalidasan, for the annual festival. Local people informed the department that mahouts Gopalakrishnan, Chandrasekharan, Venu Kuttan and one Kochapi had mistreated the animal in a drunken state. They alleged that the accused had used sharp nails and stout bamboo sticks to inflict stabs and blows on the elephant. The next day, another mahout guided the elephant to Kollambuzha. The Forest Departments flying squad reached the locality and examined the pachyderm. Divisional Forest Officer Biju Varghese, Range Officer Satheeshan and Forest Department veterinarians inspected the animal.