The video was shot by volunteers of Vanam Trust of India, which showed two men beating up an elephant at a camp near Coimbatore.
The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has arrested two men for beating an 18-year-old elephant Jayamalyatha at the Thekkampatti elephant rejuvenation camp. The video of the elephant being caned by two men went viral on social media, sparking outrage among the public.
According to a press note issued by the state Forest Department, the caretakers who attacked the elephant were identified as Vinil Kumar (46) and Sivaprasath (32). The two men were arrested late on Sunday. An FIR has been registered against the two men under Rule 13 of Tamil Nadu Captive Elephant (Management & Maintenance ) Rules, 2011, Section 64 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972) and section 51 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The Forest Department has also instructed the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) Department, since Jayamalyatha is from Srivilliputhur Andal temple, to manage the elephant.
The caretaking of the elephant at the camp has now been handed over to Subramaniam, who has experience in watching over her for the last three years. An examination of the elephant was also reportedly conducted by the forest veterinary officer after the video came to the notice of the department and it was found that the elephant has not been injured because of the attack.
The video that went viral on Sunday was shot by the volunteers of Vanam Trust of India. The HR & CE Department had suspended one of the mahouts of the elephant and had ordered a probe into the incident. The elephant rejuvenation camp at Thekkampatti is an annual affair, inaugurated by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2003, that lasts for two months. This year, around 26 elephants from temples and mutts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have come to the camp to refresh themselves. The government of Tamil Nadu had allocated Rs 1.67 crore for the camp.