The elephant is believed to have sustained the injury two months ago at the hands of a ‘kaavadi’ (assistant to the mahout), for not obeying his commands.
Forest Department staff are treating the captive elephant, Cheran, whose eye was injured by a staff tasked with caring for the elephant recently.
The elephant is believed to have sustained the injury two months ago at the hands of a ‘kaavadi’ (assistant to the mahout), for not obeying his commands. The animal had already had impaired vision in the other eye. The most recent injury it was feared, would affect his quality of life even further.
Following the incident, the Forest Department brought in specialist veterinarians from the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), to ascertain the extent of the injury to the animal’s left eye.
Speaking to The Hindu, senior Forest Department officials said that eye drops and eye ointments are being administered five times a day to the animal. “The injury seems to have healed slightly over the last month, but it is still unclear if the elephant will regain complete vision in the injured eye,” said a senior forest official.
Officials added that treating an elephant for an injury to its eye was difficult as the animal is often uncooperative. “The Forest Department staff are administering medication to the animal. We are still unclear as to how badly the injury is affecting its vision, so we hope the injury heals and can be reassessed in a few months,” said the official.