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Bijuli Prasad from Sonitpur is the world's oldest Asiatic Elephant; here's his story

Assam has the country's highest number of captive elephants, and Bijuli Prasad is the oldest

Bijuli Prasad

Bijuli Prasad

Sentinel Digital Desk

Guwahati: Not many people know this, but the world's oldest Asiatic elephant lives in the tea gardens of Assam. Bijuli Prasad, the oldest tusker, must be around 86-year-old, said Padma Shri awardee Dr. Kushal Konwar Sharma.

Bijuli Prasad was given his name by Oliver Sahib from England when he was bought by the Magor Tea Estates of Assam. Despite his old age, Prasad is steady and firm, unlike most other elephants his age. Now, Prasad weighs around 400 kilograms.

Prasad now resides in Bihali Tea Estate of Magor Group in Sonitpur district, Assam, where he is enjoying a majestic life post-retirement.

Prasad In 1968, the Borgang Tea Company bought him for uprooting old tea bushes and other works. Interestingly, Bijuli Prasad was put on salary. The elephant was put on salary from which the wage for the mahout was cut, and Prasad's food and medicine paid for. Now, after retiring from his services, Prasad continues to live a royal life.

It needs mention here that Bijuli Prasad was brought to Bihali tea estate in 2018 from Borgang, along with Thomas Murmu, his mahout. Remarkably, Thomas's father was the keeper of the elephant when it was bought by the Magor group Thomas took over after his father's death. Thomas has been taking care of Bijuli Prasad for over 20 years now.

The management of the company takes good care of the senior elephant. Two keepers for Bijuli have been arranged in the company's payroll, doctors check his health and weight every week. He is also fed nutritious food at least thrice daily. The health updates of the jumbo are sent company's head office at Kolkata every week.

Every day, Prasad is fed 25 kilograms of rice, equal portions of maize, grams, and molasses. Vitamins and added nutrition is also provided to the majestic tusker to keep him healthy and fit. The monthly expenditure on the elephant is around thirty to thirty-five thousand.

Dakshayani, an 88-year-old captive elephant in Kerala was considered to be the oldest in India and even Asia. As per the survey conducted, north-eastern India's wild elephant population was calculated at 10,139. Of these, 5,719 are found in Assam, 1,754 in Meghalaya, and 1,614 in Arunachal Pradesh. Most of the elephants in Assam are being used in the state's forest departments.

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