PETA, actor Priyamani donate mechanical elephant to Kerala temple

The mechanical elephant, named Mahadevan, will be used to conduct ceremonies at the temple in a safe and cruelty-free manner, PETA said in a release on Sunday.
Mechanical elephant
Mechanical elephant

Kochi | The non profit organization People for Ethical Treatment of Animals India along with actor Priyamani donated a life-size mechanical elephant to the Thrikkayil Mahadeva Temple in Kochi following the temple's decision to never own or hire live elephants.

The mechanical elephant, named Mahadevan, will be used to conduct ceremonies at the temple in a safe and cruelty-free manner, PETA said in a release on Sunday. This is the second such elephant being introduced in Kerala.

An inaugural ceremony was held on Sunday at the temple followed by a chenda melam performance by Master Vedharth Raman and his band and a panchavadyam by Venu Marrar and his band, the release said.

"The advances in technology means we can maintain our rich cultural practices and heritage while ensuring that animals are not harmed," Priyamani was quoted as saying in the release.

Thrikkayil Mahadeva Temple owner, Thekkiniyedath Vallabhan Namboothiri, said they were very pleased to use the mechanical elephant Mahadevan "in reverence to all of the animals created by God who want to live free and safe with their families just as humans do".

Last year, the authorities at Irinjadappilly Sree Krishna Temple in Thrissur district, as part of their pledge to stop using live animals for any festivities, introduced a robotic elephant for temple rituals, a first in Kerala.

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