An interview with Belly, who raised the elephants in the Oscar-winning ‘The Elephant Whisperers’

The Asianet team reached out and interviewed Raghu, the two elephants from the Oscar-winning The Elephant Whisperers, and Belly and Bomman, the couple who raised Ammukutty. Belly said the forest department officials brought Raghu, an orphaned baby elephant roaming in the forest, and handed it over to her. She explained that although she hesitated at first, she raised it as her husband said that he would cooperate. After that, Ammu Kutti was also admitted.

asianet exclusive interview with belly who raised raghu and ammukutty elephants featured in oscar winning documentary the elephant whisperers

First Published Mar 13, 2023, 8:55 PM IST

Chennai: The Oscar-winning best documentary short ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ is based on the real-life story of a couple in Tamil Nadu. Boman and Belly raised two elephants as children. The way they raised Raghu and Ammu’s cubs… the affection and affection between the couple and the elephants in that upbringing was unprecedented. Based on this connection, Kartiki Gonzalez made a documentary called The Elephant Whisperers as the characters. This documentary shines a light on Vishwa Yavanika, showing the intimate relationship between nature and living beings. It won the Oscar in the Documentary Short category by impressing the world. The Asianet team approached the couple Boman and Belly, who is the basis of the world-famous movie The Elephant Whisperers. Talked to Belly. She said about those two elephants. How did they get there? Revealed the details of how it was raised.

Belly said that first an elephant called Raghu came to them. After that she explained that Ammu was reached. Belly says that Raghu is in a very weak condition. Raghu was seen as an orphan in the Mudumala forest by forest department officials. She explained that one day the forest department officials brought a weak baby elephant and handed it over to her. Belly said that it was in such a weak state that it would be impossible to raise it. But Belly explained that she agreed to raise Raghu after the forest department officials asked her to raise it and her husband would also cooperate with it.

It is said that they are providers of hot water for Raghu. She explained that Raghu was slowly recovering and after that Raghu was brought up without any major problems. After that one day Ammu Kutti also had to join. Ammu explained that she gave milk to the dog and raised it. She said that she brought Raghu from Tenkani and Ammukutty from Sathyamangalam.

Belly said that Raghu was lying in a petal shed when he came to her with him. Then she explained that they had brought Raghu with them while it was raining heavily. Then she said that she had nothing and was not worried about not having anything. But, now she has been given a job in the forest department, she explained. Belly said that the elephants would cling to him if they saw him.

Belli said that people come from many parts of Kerala to see these elephants, from Kolikode to Guruvayur. She said that if she is not there when she comes to the camp, the elephant will chase them and bring them to her home. She explained that they will all take a photo with her. She said that many photos were taken with her and she used to have those photos in her house. But, she explained that if some poor children asked for those photos, they would give them. Belly said, “You can’t say no if the kids ask.”

Last Updated Mar 13, 2023, 8:55 PM IST

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