Deputy Conservator of forests, Yatishkumar said all the six elephants have put on weight but Gajendra stands in the top among other elephants. It has been in practice to check weight of all important Dasara elephants that comes to Mysore on Dasara duty and also after the ‘Vijayadashami’ procession.
This year, the elephants arrived in Mysore on September 7. On that day, the golden howdah carrying elephant-Balarama weighed 4,550 kg, Abhimanyu-4,700 kg, Arjuna-4,840 kg, Gajendra-4,395 kg, Varalakshmi-2,710 kg and Sarala-2,950 kg.
The weight of every jumbo has been recorded to prepare a dietary chart individually. Among them, Balarama gets the maximum care and attention as he is entrusted with the task of carrying the 750 kg golden howdah on ‘Jamboo Savari’ day followed by other elephants.
Everyday, the elephants are given nutritious food comprising ragi, varieties of cereals and pulses, ghee, jaggery and sugar cane to make them ready for the grand finale of nine-day Dasara festival.
Dr Nagaraj, a veterinarian and who has been taking care of Dasara elephants for the last 13 years, examines the health of every elephant daily and changes the diet accordingly.
The pachyderms need extra strength and energy to perform its duty on Vijaya Dashami day.
When they come to Mysore most of the elephants will be underweight as they are not given nutritious food except ragi balls in the camps. So they survive on whatever they get in forests.
The DCF said on October 18, the weight of all the elephants is as follows; Balarama-5025 kg (+ 475 kg), Abhimanyu-5,250 kg (+ 550 kg), Arjuna-5,350 kg (+510 kg), Gajendra-5,130 kg (+735 kg), Varalakshmi-3,250 kg (+540 kg) and Sarala-3,490 kg (+540 kg).
These figures indicate how those elephants were being cared by the department, he added.