News Karnataka
Sunday, March 03 2024

Selection of Mysuru Dasara elephants to start next week

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Mysuru: For the forthcoming Dasara festival, the selection of its primary attraction, the elephants, will commence from next week. K C Prashanth, Deputy Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) confirmed that this year also the number of elephants will be restricted to a maximum of 12.  The forest officials during the selection process will also be looking for an ideal replacement for Dhrona which died in April due to cardiac arrest.

Though all the 12 elephants led by the howdah tusker Arjuna performed well during last the Dasara procession, the jumbos Dhananjaya and Dhrona are being looked up to as the successors for Arjuna and an ageing Balarama or second line of festival elephants. Dhrona, which took part in Dasara for the second time, showed nervousness initially but was comfortable during the 5-km Dasara procession. The forest department staff including mahouts and kavadis were delighted with the duo’s performance. But unfortunately, the calm and composed 39-year-old Dhrona passed away in April in Mattigodu elephant camp in Hunsur. He collapsed while drinking water and is said to have suffered a cardiac arrest.

According to forest department officials, from next week onwards, they will be visiting various elephant camps and looking into the various health aspects of the jumbos including their mental status. During their visit, those elephants which are in musth, pregnant, having health issues and injuries will be left out and those having good overall health will be shortlisted or selected. Whenever they are free, the officials will visit the elephant camps in another 15 to 20 days’ time. They are expected to shortlist 12 or more elephants and it will be sent to the higher authorities for approval. Apart from this, during the selection of elephants, they will also be looking for an ideal replacement for Dhrona. 

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