Kodanad Elephant Training Center
Kodanad elephant training center is a peaceful spot among forest-like environs. From the Cochin International Airport you travel to Kalady and from there to Perumbavoor. Before you reach Perumbavoor, you turn left and travel about 5 kilometers to reach Kodanad, the elephant training center.
Before 1977, elephants were captured from the nearby Malayattoor forests and trained at Kodanad. Capture of elephants was banned in that year and Kodanad center does not engage in capturing elephants any more. The Kodanad center now focuses on training elephants. Young elephants (see pic left) are trained from early on.
Elephants are accommodated in the sturdy cage shown right. (It is much larger than what the wide-angle picture indicates.) The cage allows training in a more humane manner, instead of being torture-based. Elephant kids might get a wash inside the cage.
Interested tourists could also get an elephant-ride at the Kodanad center by paying a fee.
Training of Elephant Handlers
Elephant handlers, called mahouts, were often found to be inhumane in dealing with the elephants under their care. To sensitize them and to teach them more humane ways of managing the elephants, a proposal was made to make Kodanad a mahout training center also.
When you visit the center, you would notice the love the personnel have for the elephants under their care.
There is a small wildlife park at the center that accommodates deer and other wildlife. The main attraction, however, are the elephants, particularly the kids and the older, but still young, elephants.