Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Visitors had a rare opportunity to watch elephants dressed up in colourful attire at the entrance of Nandankanan here as the city zoo celebrated World Elephant Day today.

The move of the zoo authorities is to spread awareness to save the giant animal. "Elephant day is celebrated to spread awareness among people about relevance of elephants for our environment. This is for both wild and domestic elephants (zoo elephants)", Sidhartha Das, chief warden (wildlife) said.

Zoo authorities dressed up domestic elephants with appliqué work of multiple colours. They became the centre of attraction for the visitors coming to the zoological park today. The animals were brought to the entrance where visitors fed them fruits and other food items. They were excited to see the pachyderms in all their sartorial splendor up close.

"I was not aware of Elephant Day being celebrated today. I am very happy to visit the zoo today and have such a close view of the jumbos," a young visitor said.

Later in the day, the zoo authorities also took out a cycle rally from Nandankanan zoo, which culminated at Godibari, on the outskirts of the State capital.