Maiden Dasara as jumbo doctor

Maiden Dasara as jumbo doctor

 With the first batch of six Dasara elephants being welcomed at the Amba Vilas Palace here on Monday, the onus is now on caretakers — including mahouts, kavadis and forest department officials — to prepare the pachyderms for the annual Jumbo Savari.

However, bearing the burden of the elephantine responsibility would be veterinarian Dr Ramesh, who has been deputed from the animal husbandry department to the forest department 11 months back.

Dr Ramesh, participating in his maiden Dasara, would be responsible for ensuring that the jumbos follow a healthy diet and are provided with nutritional supplements to make them hale and hearty to participate in the Jumbo Savari.

Dr Ramesh takes over the reins from Dr Nagaraj, who had participated in Dasara for the last 10 years — taking care of health of jumbos. Dr Ramesh has served the animal husbandry department in Mysore and has 19 years of experience.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dr Ramesh revealed that during the next 10 days, special food — including dry fodder, green leaves, jaggery, sugarcane, coconut, wheat and boiled rice — would be provided to jumbos. They would also be given tonics to strengthen the muscles, he added.

Assisting him would be forest department staff Rangaraju and Akram, who would be ensuring that the jumbos get their share of nutritional food every day.

Every morning, the jumbos would be diagnosed by the doctor and they would be taken on rounds without any weight.

Over a period of time, sand bags would be placed on them and they would be taken on rounds along the procession route.

Dr Ramesh disclosed that previous doctors, taking care of the jumbos, have prepared formulations on the diet to be provided for the pachyderms and it would be followed this year too.

He said working for the past 11 months for the forest department has been quite a different experience. As soon as he took charge, he was involved in an operation to rescue an elephant, which had strayed into H D Kote and caused havoc in the region.

Also, when Manoj Kumar was serving as DFO, Dr Ramesh said he had been part of the squad that trapped several leopards, which had ventured into residential areas in the city.