A camp exclusively for elephants which take part in the Dasara procession will be set up soon. Plans are on cards to set up a camp either at Nagarahole or Bandipur to house the elephants and provide them with special care round the year.
The elephants will be given utmost care in camps and will be provided with special diet rich in protein and carbohydrates. Everyday the jumbos will be fed with green gram, wheat, boiled rice, vegetables, urud dal, jaggery, black gram, sugarcane, Boiled cereals, pulses, onions, coconut and several other food which are rich in nutritious supplements and make them gain more weight. By gaining weight they get good stamina to brave the sun, and bare the heavy loads.
Usually in the forest the elephants are fed with green grass, paddy and left openly in forest, due to this there will be lot of variations in their diet. With providing special diet for them it helps them to increase stamina, and strengthen muscles.
About 14 elephants take part in Dasara procession every year. They will be brought to Palace 45 days prior to Dasara in order to fed them special nutritious supplements, which helps the elephants to gain weight upto 450 kg in a month. Once they return to their respective camps they miss this 'Royal Food'. Thus, measures have been taken to set up a exclusive camp for panchyderms which participate in dasara.
Speaking to Express RFO Devaraj said: 'The elephants have gained weight from 250 to 300 kg in the last one month. This was possible because nutritious food was provided every day and a special care was given for jumbos.'
'By daily providing them with nutritious supplements there is no need of special treatment during Dasara, and meantime helps jumbos to remain fit round the year. Vegetables like cucumber, betrrot, radish, carrot, sliced onions, sugarcane boiled pulses, cereals added with salt is given largely to elephants in the camp. Already a meeting have been held and soon a final call will be taken in this regard,' he added.
Veterinary Dr Nagaraj said that an average of Rs 4,000 to Rs 5000 is spent on dasara elephant's food daily. Special ration of food around 10 to 12 kg will be given twice a day, this apart normal food, snacks, carbohydrate content foods will be provided till last day of Dasara ceremony.