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Elephant Whisperers Mahout Couple Accuses Filmmakers of Exploitation, Seek Rs. 2 Crore, Kartiki Gonsalves Counters

Elephant Whisperers Mahout Couple Accuses Filmmakers of Exploitation, Seek Rs. 2 Crore, Kartiki Gonsalves Counters

Aug 7, 2023

After receiving an Oscar at the 2023 Academy Awards, the documentary The Elephant Whisperers, which portrayed the remarkable connection between Bomman and Bellie, a mahout couple, and elephants for conservation, has faced controversy. The couple accuses the documentary makers of financial exploitation and neglect. According to their claims, they incurred significant expenses during the film’s production, but the makers did not compensate them adequately. Despite their achievement, the couple alleges that the makers have been unresponsive to their attempts to communicate. Now, seeking justice, they are requesting Rs. 2 crore as a goodwill gesture from the documentary’s producers.

Advocate Mohammed Mansoor, representing Bomman and Bellie, informed that they received a response from Sikhya Entertainment Pvt Ltd, acting on behalf of Gonsalves. According to Mansoor, Gonsalves flatly refused any further assistance, citing that she had already provided money to the couple. He stated that he will be preparing a response to their statement and will consult his clients before sending it within a few days.

Kartiki’s Respectful Response

Amidst the ongoing controversy, Kartiki has candidly expressed their utmost respect for all those involved in creating The Elephant Whisperers. According to Kartiki’s statement, the primary objective behind the documentary has been to bring attention to elephant conservation and showcase the commendable efforts of the Forest Department and mahouts Bomman and Bellie.

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Since its release, the documentary has successfully raised awareness about the cause and made a significant impact on the Mahouts and Cavadis community. The esteemed Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, has generously donated to support the 91 Mahouts and Cavadis responsible for caring for the state’s elephants. This includes the construction of eco-friendly houses for the caretakers and the establishment of an Elephant Camp in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve.

Moreover, the documentary has received widespread acclaim from heads of state across India, and winning the Academy Award has become a moment of national pride. The prestigious accolade has brought extensive recognition to the remarkable work of mahouts like Bomman and Bellie.

All the allegations presented are false. We hold a profound admiration for everyone involved in the creation of this narrative and are motivated by our commitment to bringing about positive transformations.

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