Fearing berserk elephants, defence ministry bans them from R-Day parade

January 21st, 2009 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Gaily caparisoned elephants have traditionally carried bravery award winning children during the Jan 26 Republic Day parade but a pachyderm going berserk during the event last year has prompted the defence ministry to ban the lumbering giants from the pageant this time around, an official said Wednesday.Instead, the children will ride down the parade route in open military vehicles.

“An incident of an elephant going berserk during last year’s parade has prompted this action and this year, the children will be riding in open military vehicles,” the official told reporters here.

He also denied reports that an elephant had gone berserk during the rehearsals for this year’s parade.

“Since we had decided last year itself to remove the elephants, no practises with them were conducted this year,” the official explained.

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