Once, a local ruler lived in the Punnathurkotta palace in the Thrissur District of Kerala. Situated at a distance of around 2 km from the Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple, the place now houses around 58 elephants that were “donated” to the temple by devotees.
In Kerala, it is a common Hindu custom to capture young elephants from the wild and ‘donate’ them to the deities at the temple. However, as per the Central Zoo Authority of India, one elephant in captivity must have a minimum of 1.25 acres. By housing 58 elephants in 11.5 acres, the temple is in serious violation of the norms.
As far as animal rights groups are considered though, the Elephant Camp is a nightmare. There are just 8 sheds for the 58 elephants so most of them are exposed to the weather throughout the year. They reportedly stand around in their own feces and urine. Just three algae-filled tanks of water provide water to the elephants.