Theppakadu Mudumalai Forest Camp (MFC) in India

Theppakadu Mudumalai Forest Camp (MFC)
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


OwnerTamil Nadu Forest department
First elephant arrived1927
Address Masinagudi, Mudumalai sanctuary
Place Udhagamandalam
Region Tamil Nadu
Country India
Website Website


Key People

Veterinarians 1953-2002: Vaidyanathan Krishnamurthy (head veterinarian)
2020: Dr Rajesh Kumar

Elephant department

Head keepers
of elephants

Elephant keepers -: Maran (mahout)
-: Maran (mahout)
-: M. Kirumaran (mahout)
-: ? Bomman (mahout)
Google map
Relevant literature

Theppakadu Mudumalai Forest Camp (MFC), located at Masinagudi, Mudumalai sanctuary, in Udhagamandalam, India , was founded in 1927 and the first elephant arrived in 1927.

Living elephants

At the Theppakadu Mudumalai Forest Camp (MFC) lives 26 elephants with records in this database: (detail list)
  1. Anna born ~1957
  2. Bhama born ~1949
  3. Bomman born <2000
  4. Cheeran born 1986-07-10
  5. Giri born >2009
  6. Harini
  7. Indhak
  8. Indhar born ~1948
  9. Jambo born <1987
  10. John born >1992
  11. Kamatchi born ~1957
  12. Mudumalai born ~1965
  13. Murthy born 1962
  14. Sankan
  15. Santhosh born 1975-05-15
  16. Sentilvadivu born ~1976
  17. Shankar born ~1967
  18. Srinivas
  19. Sujai (twin) born 1971-05-20
  20. Sumangala born ~1989
  21. Udayan born 1998-11-24
  22. unknown born 2016
  23. unknown born 2000
  24. Vijay (twin) born 1971-05-20
  25. Wasim born 1971-01-31
  26. Wilson born 1988-04-16

Comments / picturesTheppam means pond, and kadu means forest. Theppakadu elephant camp is located at the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and
Karnataka on the North Eastern Slopes of the Nilgiris part of Western Ghats, where it 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.

History from the past

At 6 pm, two elephants do puja, ringing a bell with their trunks at the small Ganesh, is a Hindu God'>Ganesh temple, which was built in the 1970s. After offering puja the elephants circle the temple and kneel down before the deity of Ganesh, is a Hindu God'>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.

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)

2009: the camp has 23 elephants, seven females (age ranging from 3 to 75 years) and 16 males (age ranging from 11 to 58 years). These elephants are let into forest for ranging, and brought to the camp for the routine stall fed and bathing.

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.

References for records about Theppakadu Mudumalai Forest Camp (MFC)

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2021). Theppakadu Mudumalai Forest Camp (MFC), Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Theppakadu Mudumalai Forest Camp (MFC) on

Theppakadu Mudumalai Forest Camp (MFC) is mentioned on Elephant News:

DateLinks which opens in new window
2003-07-20Dr. v. krishnamurthy , an ardent conservationist and a pioneer in designing programmes for captive elephant care - Elephant News
Twelve elephants shifted due to rain - Elephant News
2009-08-24Elephants participate in chaturthi celebrations - Elephant News
2011-12-15Tamil nadu government organises vacation for temple elephants - Elephant News
A jumbo graduation - Elephant News
2020-10-19Mudumalai tiger reserve gets a dedicated wildlife veterinarian - Elephant News
Kumki ‘blinded’ by mahout’s assistant at theppakadu - Elephant News

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