|Full name||Bellie Amma The Interview Times|
|Known for||Appearing in the Oscar-winning short documentary film The Elephant Whisperers (2022)|
|Date of Birth||Year, 1973|
|Age (as of 2023)||50 Years|
|Birthplace||Mudumalai, Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Hometown||Mudumalai, Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu|
|Caste||Scheduled Indian Tribes (SITs) Hindustan Times
Note: She belongs to the Kattunayakan tribe.
|Address||Theppakadu Elephant Camp, Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu-643223, India|
|Controversy||In August 2023, Bomman and Bellie sent a legal notice to filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves, seeking a ‘goodwill gesture' of ₹ 2 crore from her. Chennai-based social activist Pravin Raj, a lawyer by profession, sent the legal notice on behalf of Bomman and Bellie. After sending the notice, Raj said,
"Both Bomman and Bellie are disappointed with Gonsalves, who had promised them monetary help as well as help with the education of Bellie's granddaughter, while making the film. But she now refuses to give even a fraction of the enormous profits made by the film." NDTV
|Relationships & More|
|Marriage Date||Late 2000s|
|Husband/Spouse||First Husband: Died after being attacked and wounded by a tiger
Second Husband: Bomman (mahout in the Tamil Nadu Forest Department)
|Children||Her son passed away when The Elephant Whisperers was being shot. Her daughter, whom she had from her first husband, passed away in a local hospital after she set herself on fire.|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Bellie
- Bellie is an Indian mahout employed by the forest department of Tamil Nadu. She made headlines in March 2023 after The Elephant Whisperers (2022), a short documentary film in which Bellie and her husband, Bomman, appeared, won an Oscar.
- After her first husband passed away, Bellie was employed at the Theppakadu Elephant Camp, situated in the tiger reserve of Mudumalai, to take care of elephants by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department on an ad-hoc basis. There, she began assisting Bomman in taking care of the elephants.
- After Bomman rescued Raghu, a 3-month-old elephant calf, in May 2017, Bellie began working as Raghu’s caretaker.
- In June 2019, she began working as a caretaker of Bommi (aka Ammu), an elephant calf, after she was rescued by Bomman.
- In the same year, Bomman and Bellie were approached by Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga to appear in a short documentary film titled The Elephant Whisperers. The film, which began its shooting in 2017, is based on the relationship shared between Bomman, Bellie, Raghu, and Bommi.
- The film’s production was completed in 2022, and it premiered on Netflix on 8 December 2022.
- In 2023, she began working as a house help at a Tamil Nadu Forest Department officer’s house.
- On 13 March 2023, The Elephant Whisperers (2022) received the Academy Award in the Best Documentary Short Film category. While giving an interview, Bellie expressed her happiness over the film’s achievement and said,
The fact that my documentary, My Story, won the Oscar has made everyone in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve happy. The Adivasi (indigenous) people and the forest department are both happy. Nobody has taken any action of this kind to acknowledge the Adivasi (indigenous) people of Mudumalai’s efforts. All of us are isolated within the Mudumalai jungle, with no access to the outside world. We have come this far because I nurtured those two elephant calves.”
- Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited the Theppakadu Elephant Camp in April 2023 and spent some time with the couple and their elephants, Bomman and Bellie.
- On 9 May 2023, MS Dhoni presented personalised jerseys to Bomman and Bellie at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, in Chennai.