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Elephant Centre in Kerala to celebrate rescued calf’s first anniversary

The cynosure of all eyes in Kerala's Konni Elephant Centre will be celebrating his first anniversary of arrival in the centre on September 9

Come September 9 and it will be a special day for Kerala’s Konni Elephant Centre and the star of the Centre – baby elephant Kochayyappan – as it will mark his first anniversary. This calf, rescued from a canal, is the centre of attraction of all the visitors to the Centre, especially the children.

Recalling his arrival in the Eco Tourism Centre Konni last year on September 9, Ajith Kumar, the Beat Forest Officer told India Narrative: “He was just six months old. He was rescued on August 19, 2021, after falling into a canal near Kochandi checkpost which falls in the Goodrickal forest range in Ranni. We waited for his herd to return to fetch him. When that did not take place, we tried to integrate him with two herds which were close by but they moved on. He was then moved to Konni camp.”

Incidentally, his original name Kannan was changed to Kochayyappan by the Forest Minister and Wildlife Protection, A.K. Saseendran.

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Kochayyappan in his enclosure

“He is very playful, happy and jolly by nature and keeps everyone entertained by his antics,” Kumar told India Narrative.

When asked about his favourite food, Kumar replied: “He likes rice, broth, bananas, watermelons, and jaggery.”

Kochayyappan cannot go back to the wild as he doesn’t have the requisite skills and he will continue to stay at the Centre and be the darling of the crowds.