Delay in naming elephant calves affects their training

Himalayan News Service

Narayangadh, January 24:

The nine elephant calves born in the country’s only Elephant Breeding Centre (EBC) at Khorsor in the Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP) are yet to be named, months and even years after their birth, thus affecting the programme to train them.

Staffers of the EBC say that the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) approves the names of the calves on the recommendation of the EBC. “We had proposed the names for the calves to the RCNP office at Kasara some two months ago. They are, however, yet to respond,” said Rameshwor Chaudhary, a gazetted officer at the EBC. The calves are aged between three to 33 months, he said, adding that two of them are female.

“Delay in naming the calves has delayed their training because the trainee elephants must be called by their names during the training,” Chaudhari said adding,”A female calf is ready to undergo training at the age of three while the male is ready some six months earlier.”

With the nine calves, the elephant population in the EBC has reached 26. Babu Kaji Titaju, an EBC staffer said that three elephants will be giving birth within the coming four months.

Data provided by the EBC reveal that 21 elephant calves were born in the centre since its inception in 1988, of which 14 are alive.

The Elephant Breeding Centre is one of the major attractions of the RCNP and about 70 per cent of the tourists visiting the RCNP visit the centre.