For Mudumalai elephant camp in Tamil Nadu, there is a reason why it is getting queued up by the tourists now - the camp is the home for the baby jumbo that featured in the documentary 'The Elephant Whisperers', which won the Oscars at the 95th Academy Awards. The documentary is about the life of the couple Bomman and Belli, who are wonderful mahouts and their love and care towards the elephants.
As the documentary has got a global spotlight, several people are thronging to see the baby jumbo that acted in the documentary in the Mudumalai Theppakadu elephant camp. According to ANI, a tourist who visited the camp said, "It is such a great moment. It's a pleasure to be here. The elephant is my favourite animal and the fact that the film won an Oscar does make me delighted and excited."
The documentary 'The Elephant Whisperers' was resplendent at the 95th Academy Awards when it was announced as the winner of Best Short Documentary. The Oscars festival was held at Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, United States on Monday. At a high time when the human and elephant conflict is on a rise, this remarkable documentary has strived to reduce the gap and to celebrate the bonding between the human and elephants. Released on December 8, 2022, The Elephant Whisperers is about the real-life bonding that develops between a couple and an orphaned baby elephant.
The indigenous couple named Bomman and Belli are mahouts and they are looking after the needs of the elephants at the camp and they are also taking care of the orphaned baby elephant named Raghu, who lost its mother. For the baby, the couple turned out to offer care and comfort and fostered it as if they were raising their own children. The mindblowing documentary has touched millions for the lives of the couple and their elephant troop. The documentary was released directly on Netflix and it was nominated for the Best Documentary Short Film.
Finally, it won the Oscars and the entire country was over the moon. When Belli was informed about the award for the documentary, her reply is - 'I don't know about the Oscar award'. Speaking to PTI after the Oscar award, Belli said, "Elephants are like our children. We see it as great service to a child, who lost its mother." She said that she was excited to receive the wishes. She told PTI, "I have reared many such elephants, treated them like my own children, looking after them as a foster mother, particularly those who lose their mothers in the jungle."
Belli said, "This was in our blood, as our ancestors were also working like that, as described by our grandmother, who comes from a mahout family." "I don't know about the award. But I am very happy and excited as congratulations are pouring in", she added. The couple hails from a tribal background and the Nilgiris Adivasi Welfare Association secretary had said that the Oscar award is a recognition to the traditional profession of the tribals.
The Elephant Whisperers is produced by Guneet Monga and directed by Kartiki Gonsalves. Interestingly, it is Kartiki Gonsalves's directorial debut and she had spent five years following human-elephant blended family belonging to Kattunayakan tribe to make this documentary, which runs for 39 minutes. After lifting the Oscars, producer Guneet Monga took to Twitter and wrote, "We just win the first ever Oscar for an Indian production! Two women did this! I am still shivering."
Tourist throng Mudumalai Tiger 🐅 Reserve, Nilgiris to see baby jumbo from Oscar-winning ‘Elephant Whisperers’. Pc - @ANI— Kishore Chandran🇮🇳 (@tweetKishorec) March 14, 2023
No doubt Mudumalai Tiger Reserve will be on the Global 🌎 Map 🗾#Oscars2023#Mudumalai#Nilgiris #Jumbo #Raghu pic.twitter.com/IiAGROJVHq
‘The Elephant Whisperers’ themselves, Bommon and Bellie are the real stars of the show. It is only through their constant support, and willingness to share a piece of their life with the world, that this film won this highest honour. pic.twitter.com/HwjatKQw6W— Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) March 13, 2023