Karna female calf in exchange for Tirunallar temple elephant

Karaikal, Feb 10 (PTI) The famous Lord Saneeswara templeat Tirunallar in Karaikal district has got a female elephantcalf from Karnataka in exchange for its fierce male elephant.

The male elephant ''Ganesan'',gifted as a calf by aTiruchi-based textiles baron in 2003, started behavingabnormally a few months back and remained restless, templeofficials said.

Veterinarians and forest department officials who examinedthe elephant, suggested that it be sent back to the forests.

They said the elephant belongs to the ''Makna'' variety (inwhich the male elephant will not have tusks).These elephants,by nature, were not suited to reside in human habitations andbelong to the wild variety and suited to live in forests, theysaid.

When Karnataka Forest Minister C H Vijayashankar visitedthe temple recently, the temple administration broached theidea of getting a female elephant from Karnataka in exchangefor the male elephant.

The Minister asked the officials to send a request to theforest department following which SK Panneerselvam, ExecutiveOfficer (temples), Karaikal wrote a letter.

The forest department and the Karnataka Government thenpassed orders to send the female elephant calf ''Prakruti'' toTirunallar from the Sakrebayalu elephant camp in Shimogadistrict of Karnataka. The male elephant will be sent toKarnataka, officials said.

''Prakruti'' was brought to Tirunallar last night.

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