Shantikali, a 72-year-old elephant, shifted to Banke National Park a year ago, celebrated Bhai Tika on Thursday. Bhai Tika is the last day of Tihar festival where sisters worship their brothers. Though this year the Bhai Tika falls on Saturday, the event was celebrated yesterday on the occasion of Laxmi Puja.
After observing the Bhai Tika, the oldest elephant of the national park has now become sister to local people including local police, national park and village council authorities.
The festival is celebrated by brothers and sisters, but being an elephant, Shantikali has well blended with locals. To honour the relationship, the local authorities regard Shantikali as their sister and made her their sister on the auspicious Laxmi Puja.
The National Park and Gavar Homestay jointly organised the ceremony. Shantikali was offered banana and money while traditional sweets and food items were offered to her brothers on behalf of Shantikali. She submitted the money to her Mahout Rajaram Chaudhary.
The event symbolises that the bond between human and wildlife is no less than of brother and sister.
“The wildlife and human do not have a very good relationship,” said Krishna Chaudhary, chairman of Gavar Community Home Stay, “In order to harmonise this relationship, we decided to mark a symbolic celebration with the animal.”