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Kerala’s 78-year-old elephant to enter Guinness Book of World Records

Kattakkada: 78-year-old elephant Soman from Kottur elephant rehabilitation centre is all set to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest elephant. Ahead of this, the herd of elephants in the rehabilitation centre will honour Soman on Sunday.

According to the forest department, Soman is the only elephant in the world to complete 78 years. Dakshayani, an 82-year-old elephant who died recently, was regarded as the oldest elephant in the world. Devaswom Board which owned Dakshayani was not interested to name her in Guinness Book of World Records as the process incurs huge financial expenditure.
Forest Development Agency has decided to name Soman in the records following the death of Dakshayani.
“Procedures related to this will be initiated once the chief wildlife warden grants permission. Around 1000 US Dollars will be spent on the formalities for the record,” said Kappukadu assistant wildlife warden Satheesan.

At present, Soman is the oldest one among the Asian and African elephants. According to his mahouts, despite a minor vision problem on the right eye, Soman is perfectly healthy,
Along with the efforts for the record, the officials are also planning to change the elephant’s name as Somanathan through a Gazette notification.
A decision was also taken to form a ‘care fund’ to meet the daily expenditure of the elephant.
Rs 3028 is being spent on rearing a single elephant per day. The action was taken to apply for the Guinness Record to find sponsors for the elephant. As per the rules, the elephant rehabilitation centre is not allowed to receive funds for elephants from foreign countries. Hence, the care fund was formed as per the foreign exchange act.

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