Armenia's only elephant to get an Indian companion

The only male elephant in Armenia’s zoo will get an Indian female companion this week, a news report said on Wednesday.

Armenian officials had asked the Indian government for a female pachyderm in 1999, for its sole male elephant originally from Moscow. Indian premier Atal Behari Vajpayee promised them an elephant during a visit to Armenia last year.

Acknowledging that their gift was late, Indian officials were quoted as saying in the Hindu newspaper that the elephant would help “cement” India-Armenia ties.

Eight-year-old Komala weighs 1 500kg and lives in a zoo in the southern Indian city of Mysore. She will travel in a specially-made container to Bangalore on Thursday from where the Armenian government will fly her, mildly sedated in a cargo plane, the report said.

Mysore zoo veterinarian SM Khadri described Komala as “exceptionally well behaved, obedient and in good health”.

She is an “F2” elephant, or one that is bred in captivity. India only sends “F2” elephants abroad, Khadri said.

Accompanying her through the acclimatisation process will be a “mahout” or handler and a team of veterinarians. - Sapa-DPA

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