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Kerala temple deploys life-size ’mechanical elephant’ for performing rituals, Watch

Kerala temple deploys life-size ’mechanical elephant’ for performing rituals, Watch

Kerala temple deploys life-size ’mechanical elephant’ for performing rituals, Watch

Mangalore Today News Network / NDTV

March 01, 2023: In a first in Kerala, a life-like mechanical elephant has been deployed in a temple in Thrissur for performing daily rituals instead of a real pachyderm. The mechanical elephant named ’Irinjadappilly Raman’ was donated to Irinjadappilly Sree Krishna Temple by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and actress Parvathy Thiruvothu.



Raman weighs 800 kg, is 11 feet tall and made of iron with rubber armour. The elephant’s head, eyes, mouth, ears and tail all work on electricity. It costs Rs 5 lakh. Like real elephants, the robotic elephant also can carry up to four people on its back.


In a tweet, PETA India shared the video and wrote, ’’JUMBO NEWS! Kerala’s Irinjadappilly Sree Krishna Temple will use a lifelike mechanical elephant to perform rituals, allowing real elephants to remain with their families in nature.’’

PETA said Raman will help conduct ceremonies at the temple in a safe and cruelty-free manner and thereby supporting real elephants’ rehabilitation.


A ’Nadayiruthal’ ceremony (a ritual offering elephants to the deity in Kerala temples) was also conducted on Sunday where the new elephant was welcomed by the head priest following a prayer.

PETA India, in a statement, said, "The frustration of captivity leads elephants to develop and display abnormal behaviour. At their wit’s end, frustrated elephants often snap and try to break free, running amok and so harming humans, other animals, and property. According to figures compiled by the Heritage Animal Task Force, captive elephants killed 526 people in Kerala in a 15-year period.

The chikkattukavu Ramachandran, who has been held captive for about 40 years and is one of the most often used elephants in Kerala’s festival circuit, has reportedly killed 13 individuals- six mahouts, four women, and three elephants".

PETA also urged all venues and events using elephants to switch to lifelike mechanical elephants or other means in place of real elephants.

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