Friday, October 7 2022

Come September 9th and it will be a special day for the Konni Elephant Center of Kerala and the star of the center – baby elephant Kochayyappan – as it will mark its first birthday. This calf, rescued from a canal, is the center of attraction for all visitors to the Centre, especially children.

Recalling his arrival at the Eco Tourism Center in Konni last year on September 9, Beat Forest officer Ajith Kumar told India Narrative: “He was only six months old. He was rescued on August 19, 2021, after falling into a channel near the Kochandi checkpoint which falls into the Goodrickal Forest Range in Ranni. We waited for his herd to come back to pick him up. When that didn’t happen, we tried to integrate him with two herds that were nearby but they moved away. He was then transferred to Konni camp.

Incidentally, its original name Kannan was changed to Kochayyappan by the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Protection, AK Saseendran.

Kochayyappan in his enclosure

“He is very playful, happy and cheerful by nature and entertains everyone with his antics,” Kumar told India Narrative.

Asked about his favorite food, Kumar replied, “He likes rice, broth, bananas, watermelon and jaggery.”

Kochayyappan can’t return to the wild because he doesn’t have the required skills and he will continue to stay at the Center and be a crowd favorite.


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