Tusker that carried the Tooth Relic in failing health

THE DAILY MIRROR: Saturday, 12 March 2011 00:00 By Karunaratne Atukorala

 

Millangoda Raja, believed to have the longest tusks of any tusker in Asia, is in delicate health due to old age. Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife S M Chandrasena on Wednesday (9) visited the Millangoda Walawwa at Molagoda on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look into the needs of the famous tusker that for several years carried the casket of the Tooth Relic in the Kandy Perahera. The minister met its owner, Senanayaka Ralalage Appuhamy Millangoda and his son, member of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Ananda Millangoda and donated a stock of nutritional food and medicine for the tusker. The Director of Wildlife Conservation Chandrawansa Pathiraja accompanied the minister. Appuhamy Millangoda told the minister that Millangoda Raja was a calf when it was captured from the Navagatthegama Forest Reserve on a permit issued by the government for Rs.50. He said that from the original number of 14 elephants he owned many have died of old age leaving five which included the tusker called ‘Millangoda Little Raja’.