Elephant Whisperers & Kattunayakan Tribe

  • The Movie Elephant Whisperers tells the story of a couple (Bomman & Bellie) who adopts two orphan elephant babies and rears them. The mother of the elephant babies died after being electrocuted.
  • The couple live in the Tamil Nadu’s Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and National Park.
  • Theppakadu Elephant Camp in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is the oldest elephant camp in Asia and was established 105 years back.
  • Situated on the banks of river Moyar, it presently has 28 elephants. A dedicated bunch of Mahouts is providing training and care to these elephants.
  • Both Bomman and Bellie come from Kattunayakan tribe, the traditional forest dwellers of Mudumalai forests.

About Kattunayakan Tribe

  • Kattunayakan tribe also known as Jennu Kurumbas are scheduled tribes found in south Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala & Andhra Pradesh.
  • Kattunayakan means king of jungles in Tamil and Malayalam.
  • They are considered to be one of the earliest inhabitants of Western Ghats and are engaged in the collection and gathering of forest produce, mainly wild honey and wax.
  • They are classified as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups in Tamil Nadu & Kerala.

About Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

  • Mudumalai National Park is a national park and tiger reserve located in Nilgiri Mountains in Tamil Nadu. This national park is part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
  • Moyar river passes through this national park.
  • The Reserve has tall grasses, commonly referred to as “Elephant Grass”, Bamboo of the giant variety, valuable timber species like Teak, Rosewood, etc,.
  • There are several species of endemic flora. Such a varied habitat is inhabited by a variety of animals which include Tiger, Elephant, Indian Gaur, Panther, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Common Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Wild Dog, Mangoose, Jungle Cat, Hyena, among others.

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