LOVELESS RELATIONSHIP?: The elephant and the mahout should share a close bond.
Kollam: A study conducted among mahouts by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) revealed that a majority of them had taken up the job not out of any love for elephants, but to earn a livelihood.
The study was conducted last month by the SPCA technical expert B. Aravind, among 170 first mahouts in south Kerala.
As per the study, 84 per cent of the mahouts admitted that they had taken up the job to earn a livelihood. Thirteen per cent said they had enrolled for the job because elephants fascinated them. The majority said they did not want their children to become mahouts. The average age of the first mahout was 37. Those in the age group 30 to 40 comprised 40 per cent. A good number among them took up the job when theywere teenagers. Forty-three per cent of the mahouts had studied up to class V11 and 37 per cent above class V111. Sixty-nine per cent admitted to consuming alcohol regularly. Only 18 per cent of the first mahouts had knowledge about the cardinal points in an elephant’s body.