• A resident of Kargudi, a hamlet within the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in the Nilgiris, he sees elephants almost every day, so much so that he knows their magnificent physique, the flap of their ears, bend of their trunks, and girth of their feet, like the back of his hand.
  • The 25-year-old, who’s from the Betta Kurumba tribe, is etching the elephants he’s seen into life-sized ones made of lantana, an invasive weed.
  • One hundred of the elephants will be auctioned in the UK and US in 2021.
  • The project is a collaborative effort of social enterprise The Real Elephant Collective and NGO Elephant Family.
  • It takes around 45 days to make a lantana elephant, each of which has a wild counterpart.
  • Lantana, an invasive weed that’s taking over our forests, was brought from MM Hills near Kollegal in Karnataka, for the project
  • For crafting them into elephants though, the shoots have to be boiled, the outer layer, peeled.
  • “Boiling the shoots makes them flexible.