Mysuru: The first batch of six Dasara elephants which arrived at the Palace premises here yesterday were weighed at a privately owned weigh-bridge. The weight of an elephant is said to be a crucial figure to decide on the quality and quantity of its diet, ensuring that they gain enough strength to undergo the arduous journey of 10 kms on the Jamboo Savari day that too after waiting for hours before the procession begins.
The weights of the elephants in kgs were — Arjuna 5,445; Balarama 4,835; Abhimanyu 4,975; Vikrama 3675, Chaithra 2800 and Kaveri 2,900. The elephants will be weighed again on Ayudha Puja day. The Dasara elephants get special treatment while in Mysore -the aim is to build their muscles and stamina, something that is being practised for decades. Now the foresters pamper them during their stay in the forests attending to their nutritional needs.
Soyabean, maize, greengram and wheat are used to prepare a dish and is served to them daily. These are protein-rich items. The dish is cooked twice a day and provided to them. While tuskers get bigger quantity given their requirement, female elephants are also provided the same. This is apart from the fodder. Nutritional supplement is based on body weight and the gender. The jumbos will enjoy the nutritious food so that they are well built and have stamina.
Veterinarian Dr. Nagaraj said the extra-nutritious fodder would be fed to the elephants twice a day.
Training for elephants would occupy a major process as part of Dasara procession as they amble along the procession route that will be crowded with thousands of visitors on the day of Vijayadashami. The elephants checked in to city on 4 September and it was decided that the training will be started from tomorrow. The elephants will be on a regular training for first three to four days. Later sand weight training will be held.
DCF Wildlife Kamala Karikalan and others were present.