Elephant "Spa Month" Rewards Hard Labor

Elephant
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Adorned elephants beautify a temple festival at Trichur, in southern Indian state of Kerala, on April 28, 2007.

Elephants are an integral part of the state's temple festivals and other celebrations. Some animals see up to 11 months of duty a year.

In recent years some elephants, apparently overworked, have turned on their trainers, sometimes killing them.

The monthlong camp at Punnathur Palace in Guruvayur is intented to help these elephants regain their health through a regimen of rest and a healthy diet.

"You cannot love the animal too much and spoil him. At the same time, if you have to make him listen to what you say, you need to take care of him also. During this one month we go all the way to make him comfortable and regain his health," an elephant trainer known as Radhakrishnan told IBNLive TV news.

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—Photograph by E.V. Sreekumar
 
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