Female elephant to cut cake, celebrate first birthday

Female elephant Sreekutty to cut cake, celebrate first birthday in Kerala

Sreekutty will be cutting an elephant cake made of rice and ragi

Sreekutty, the femake celebrating turning a year old. Credit: Special Arrangement

A first birthday celebration of a different sort will happen in Kerala on November 8 as 'Sreekutty', a female elephant at the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Thiruvananthapuram will cut a cake.

It is not just a birthday celebration for the forest officials, but the celebration of their efforts in helping the elephant survive.

The elephant was hardly one month old when it was spotted in a weak condition at an estate close to the forest areas of Thenmala in Kollam district in November last year. It was suspected to be washed away from its parents in the forest owing to the heavy flow of water in the river. There were several wounds and bruises all over its body and serious injuries on legs.

Since the chances of survival of the elephant outside the forest and away from its parents seemed to be remote, the forest authorities kept it where they found her for a couple of days with hopes of its parents coming in search and taking her back to the forest. With parents nowhere in sight even after a few days, Sreekutty was brought to the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre at Kotoor, about 30 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram city.

Deputy Warden Satishan M V said that chances of survival of the elephant were only around 40 per cent, especially since it was away from parents and was weak. Hence the day on which the elephant reached the rehabilitation centre is being celebrated as its birthday. A cake made of rice and ragi, which is the usual diet of an elephant, would be made and all the 15 odd elephants at the rehabilitation centre from three and a half-year-old Kannan to 78-year-old Soman will be paraded.

Deputy range officer Renjith Kumar V S said that a special forest like enclave was set up for Sreekutty and it was initially fed with glucose and lactogen under the care of veterinary doctors of the forest department. Later it was given B-Protein and ragi and now it is in normal condition.