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November 2019
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Elephant to undergo medical test for Thrissur 'pooram'
 
Thrissur: A final decision on whether or not the 54-year-old famed elephant 'Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran' would be allowed to participate in the famous Thrissur 'Pooram' would be taken after the animal is subjected to a detailed health examination by a team of experts Saturday.

District collector T V Anupama, heading the monitoring committee of experts, held a meeting with various stakeholders Friday, after which it was decided that the administration was prepared to field the elephant for the ritual, provided it clears the fitness test.

If the elephant does not have any health issues, it would take part in a ritual of the 'pooram' festival Sunday, Anupama told reporters after the meeting.

"The elephant will undergo a detailed health examination Saturday. If the animal is fit, we will use the elephant for the ritual," she said.

A three-member team of doctors would examine the animal.

The main event of the Thrissur pooram begins with the 10.5-foot-tall elephant pushing open the southern entrance gate of the ancient Vadakkumnathan temple in the city, symbolising the start of the festivities.

The district administration had banned the parading of the elephant after it killed two persons in February this year.

The partially blind animal, which ran amok several times, had killed at least 13 people so far and two elephants.

The Kerala high court had earlier in the day refused to interfere in the matter and had stated that the concerned authorities should take a decision on whether or not to use the elephant for pooram falling next week.

Following the court decision, the Kerala government had sought the legal opinion from Additional Advocate General Renjith Thampan on the matter, who in turn advised the government that the tusker can be permitted for participating only in Pooram festival with certain restrictions.

The Additional Advocate General told the government that people should be kept away from the jumbo during its parade and steps should be taken to prevent any danger to the people.

The authorities concerned should also ensure that the elephant was not provoked, he said.

If any untoward incident occurred, the elephant owners should take responsibility, he added.


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