Kerala temple introduces mechanical elephant for performing rituals


Irinjadappilly Sri Krishna Temple in Kerala’s Thrissur district set an example by using a mechanical, life-like elephant for performing rituals. The elephant was gifted to the temple by PETA India with the support of actor Parvathy Thiruvothu.

The iconic life-like mechanical elephant, named Irinjadapilly Raman, is 10-and-a half feet in height while 800 kg is the weight. It can carry around 4 people. The elephant’s head, eyes, mouth, ears and tail all work on electricity.

Following a call taken by the temple to never keep or hire elephants or any other animals for rituals, festivities, or any other purpose, PETA India came up with the robotic elephant.

PETA India, in a statement, said, “The frustration of captivity leads elephants to develop and display abnormal behavior. At their wit’s end, frustrated elephants often snap and try to break free, running amok and so harming humans, other animals, and property. According to figures compiled by the Heritage Animal Task Force, captive elephants killed 526 people in Kerala in a 15-year period. The chikkattukavu Ramachandran, who has been held captive for about 40 years and is one of the most often used elephants in Kerala’s festival circuit, has reportedly killed 13 individuals- six mahouts, four women, and three elephants”. 

It requested all venues and events using elephants to switch to life-like mechanical elephants or other means in place of real elephants.