Mysuru: Lakshmi, the 22-year-old female elephant, who has come to Mysuru to be part of the Dasara celebrations gave birth to a baby elephant on night of Tuesday September 13. This is apparently the first time ever in two and a half decades that an elephant on Dasara visit has giving birth to a calf.
According to sources, the Mysuru Royal family’s Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar’s sister Vishalakshi Devi had adopted Lakshmi when she was young.
Years back, Vishalakshi Devi decided to adopt Lakshmi who was separated from her mother. The baby elephant was nurtured at a resort near Bandipura National Park till it was handed over to the Forest Department. In fact, Vishalakshi’s children keep visiting Ramapura elephant camp where Lakshmi stays.
Lakshmi was taking part in the Dasara drills till Tuesday. When doctors examined her, they came to know she was suffering from labour pain. She was separated from the other jumbos and she gave birth to a baby elephant at around 8.00 pm.
DCF Dr. V. Karikalan, Veterinarian Dr. Mujeeb,, RFO Santosh Hoogar are keeping an eye on Lakshmi. Mahouts are helping the team to take care of Lakshmi. In the absence of Lakshmi, only 13 jumbos will be taking part in Dasara celebrations. The proud mother will be staying in Mysuru for another three months.
Speaking to NewsKarnataka DCF Karikalan said that We really don’t know if Lakshmi the elephant is pregnant. He said that there are no scientific methods to test elephants for pregnancy in the same way as humans.
Lakshmi, the elephant who came from Ramapura elephant camp to participate in the Dussehra celebrations, gave birth to a male calf last night which is a happy news. “When we went to the elephant camp to check the elephants, we did not know that this elephant was pregnant. So we selected this elephant to participate in Dasara. On that day, Lakshmi the elephant was moving like normal elephants. But yesterday afternoon, we saw a slight change in the behaviour of this elephant. Immediately after we got a medical examination, we found out that this elephant is pregnant. Immediately, some test samples were sent to Hyderabad. But the mother gave birth to calf at night and the baby is healthy,” he informed.
He said that the Rajamatha Pramoda Devi Wodeyar said to keep her in the palace for as long as necessary for the health of mother and child. Karikalan said that we may keep elephant and calf for another three months in palace for resting.
DCF Karikalan clarified that the baby was born without any difficulty as the pregnant elephant was taken for training and given good food. DCF Karikalan explained that it takes about 18 to 20 months for an elephant to give birth.