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Bellie of ‘Elephant Whisperers’ fame makes headlines again, to become permanent caretaker of elephant camp in Tamil Nadu

Bellie was given her appointment letter as the first woman caretaker of the elephant camp by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@supriyasahuias)

Bellie who along with her husband Bomman became famous as the documentary “The Elephant Whisperers” based on them won the Oscar, was back in the news. This time she made the headlines as the Tamil Nadu Government appointed her as the first permanent woman elephant caretaker at the Theppakadu elephant camp located in the Nilgiris district.

As reported earlier by India Narrative in March this year when the couple was felicitated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Bellie who was then a temporary employee was told that she will be regularised.

Bellie was presented her appointment letter by the Chief Minister at the State Secretariat. Others who were present on the occasion included, Bomman, M. Mathiventhan, Forest Minister, Shiv Das Meena, Chief Secretary and Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forest.

Bellie who was then a temporary caretaker along with Bomman is shown in the 40-minute documentary rearing abandoned elephant calves Raghu and Amu.

It may be recalled that in March, the State Government besides felicitating the couple gave them a cheque of Rs.1 lakh each and honoured them with a shawl and shield. The CM also announced a grant of Rs.1 lakh each to all 91 mahouts and cavadis (assistant caretakers) working at two elephant camps — Theppakadu in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and Kozhikamuthi in Anamalai Tiger Reserve. He also announced financial assistance of Rs 9.10 crore for constructing eco-friendly houses for all elephant caretakers.

In July, the couple had been felicitated by President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The documentary which won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Film in March at the 95th Academy Awards, was directed by Kartiki Gonsalves and produced by Guneet Monga.

Also read: Tamil Nadu Govt honours ‘Elephant Whisperers’ couple, gives cash reward and houses to 91 caretakers