Kaziranga (Assam): The pride of Kaziranga National Park Joyraj, an elephant famed for his multi-faceted role in park activities, died on Wednesday following old-age ailments, park officials said.
The over 11-feet tall male tusker was 73 years old and had retired from service with the Assam Forest Department in 2008 after serving for 65 years.
Joyraj was ailing for quite some time and was fully dependent on medicines and food provided by the KNP authorities as he was unable to gather his own food and water from the forest.
He had been actively involved in anti-poaching operations, rescuing animals during floods, ferrying tourists and officials during animal census and was chosen to lead in processions organised during elephant festivals held over the years.
He had also played a major role in resolving fights among elephants during mating seasons.
Joyraj had been chosen for his towering height over other pachyderms, strength and his huge pair of five feet long tusks and had served in both Kohora and Bagori ranges of the Park, the sources said.
Mahout Mohan Karmakar said he can never forget the elephant's personality, his majestic way of walking, his body language, behaviour and his alertness when carrying children and the way he flaps his ears to show he is happy.
Joyraj's last rites would be performed by the forest department within the Park.
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Updated Date: Jan 08, 2014 16:37:08 IST