Himalayan News Service
Kerala, May 14:
Keralaâ€™s favourite elephant â€œAsiad Appuâ€ passed away today, 23 years after he
embodied the spirit and mood of the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. Kuttinarayanan died at 28 at the famous Guruvayoor temple complex following high fever and would be cremated at a private estate tonight.
Kuttinarayanan was nicknamed Asiad Appu when he became one of the 36 elephants who went in a special train from here to Delhi to take part in the inaugural ceremony of the 1982 Asian Games.
The official mascot of the games was a baby elephant and Kuttinarayanan, who bore a striking resemblance to the happy, dancing pachyderm, has been known as Asiad Appu ever since.
K Anilkumar of the Sree Krishna Temple, which owns the Guruvayoor Anna Kotta, or elephant yard, said Appuâ€™s condition had deteriorated at the beginning of this week.
He hadnâ€™t really recovered from his injuries 15 years ago when he fell into a well while taking part in a festival at Palakkad. â€œFollowing the fall, his forelimbs got injured. Since then, he had been suffering from arthritis. For the last three months, he has been unable to even lie down,â€ Anilkumar said.
The Guruvayoor temple trust has the largest number of captive elephants in Kerala.