Theppakadu elephant camp (Mudumalai) in India

Theppakadu elephant camp (Mudumalai)
The twin bull elephants Sujay and Vijay (captive-born 1971 in Top slip). Photo © Jackie Chiger
The twin bull elephants Sujay and Vijay (captive-born 1971 in Top slip). Photo © Jackie Chiger
Typecamp
Founded1927
First elephant1927
AddressMasinagudi, Mudumalai sanctuary
PlaceUdhagamandalam
RegionTamil Nadu
CountryIndia
Websitehttps://www.mudumalaitigerreserve.com/captive-elephant-management/
Google map

Theppam means pond, and kadu means forest. Theppakadu elephant camp was established on the bank of the river Moyar in 1927 (officially established in 1972), although a similar predecessor existed nearby since 1910, and is regarded as the oldest elephant camp in India.

1985: In Mudumalai camp, even though 110 female calves were born in the past, most of them were sold.

2002: totally at Mudhumalai 27 elephants (12 at Theppakadu camp, 15 at Abhayaranyam camp)

2017: The camp was closed for four months after two of the elephants there, Narmada and Bharathi, died in December of 2017. Their deaths were said to have been caused by the elephants contracting bacterial infection, precipitated by the lack of rainfall within the reserve. After their deaths, the elephant camp was indefinitely closed by MTR officials until May 2017, when it opened again.

2018-04-09: The Theppakadu camp now has 23 elephants including a calf.


History from the past


At 6 pm, two elephants do puja, ringing a bell with their trunks at the small Ganesh temple, which was built in the 1970s. After offering puja the elephants circle the temple and kneel down before the deity of Ganesh. They are then fed and you can take part in feeding them sugar cane. After the feeding, an English-language film is shown about the park.

There is an Elephant Show on Saturdays and Sundays (Rs 20) at 6 pm. The show consists of elephant races through an obstacle course, elephant dancing and elephant soccer.

More elephants have been born at Theppakadu, the elephant camp near Mudumalai´s reception centre, than elsewhere in India.

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