English News


Tamil Nadu’s elephant camp receives ISO certification

Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp is one of the few camps in India which trains elephants to catch the rogue ones

Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp, the star tourist attraction in Tamil Nadu’s Anamalai Tiger Reserve has added another feather to its cap. It has been awarded the ISO 9001:2015 certification for safety and hygiene.

KEC is one of the few places in India where elephants are trained to control the rogue ones.

Interestingly the camp is managed by members of a local tribe called Malasar who over the centuries have lived with these animals and developed specialised knowledge about them. This enables them to train and work with them.

Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp2
The ISO certification given to Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp

Members of this tribe are experts in capturing, taming and handling the wild elephants and have travelled across the country to help catch and tame the rogue animals. At present there are 53 members of this tribe in the camp who work as mahouts and kavadis to take care of 26 elephants.

There are display boards in the camp that provide details about the elephants, including the name, area and the year when they were captured.

For capturing and training wild elephants, kumkis or trained male tuskers are used. Among the 26 elephants in KEC, 56-year-old Kaleem is the star as he has helped to catch more than 25 wild elephants in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

What makes this camp different is that tourists are allowed to visit it in the morning  to watch varied activities that take place there. Beginning their day early, the elephants are first given a bath and then fed with a large dough which includes rice, millet, coconut and jaggery. Every elephant in the camp has a customised diet.

Visitors are allowed to interact with the elephants and click selfies and pictures under the supervision of mahouts.

After their morning meal, animals are taken for grazing, returning in the evening to have cut fodder.

To provide better facilities to the tourists, the camp authorities have sent a proposal for construction of additional toilet facilities to the State Government.