|K. Bomman The New Indian Express
|Appearing in Oscar winning short documentary film The Elephant Whisperers.
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 168 cm
in meters- 1.68 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 6”
|Salt and Pepper
|Date of Birth
|Age (as of 2023)
|Mudumalai, Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu, India
|Mudumalai, Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu
Note: He works as a priest in a Hindu temple and worships Ganesha.
|Scheduled Indian Tribes (SITs) Hindustan Times
Note: He belongs to the Kattunayakan tribe
|Theppakadu Elephant Elephant Camp, Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu-643223, India
|In August 2023, Bomman and Bellie sent a legal notice to filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves, seeking a ‘goodwill gesture' of Rs. 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
|Bellie Amma (mahout in the Theppakadu Elephant Camp)
|His son passed away when The Elephant Whisperers was being shot. He had a stepdaughter who passed away in a local hospital after she lit herself on fire.
|Father- Kunjan (mahout)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Bomman
- Bomman is an Indian mahout employed by the forest department of Tamil Nadu. He came into the limelight for featuring in the short documentary film The Elephant Whisperers (2022), which won an Oscar in 2023.
- He started working as a mahout with the forest department of Tamil Nadu in 1984. As a mahout, Bomman has rescued many elephants in distress in the Theppakadu Elephant Camp, situated in the tiger reserve of Mudumalai.
- In May 2017, he adopted a 3-month-old male elephant calf named Raghu after its mother died of electrocution in a village near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.
- In June 2017, Bomman rescued a female elephant calf named Bommi (aka Ammu) at the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR). Thereafter, Bommi was kept in the elephant camp at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve for a while. Eventually, the forest department started trying to reunite Bommi with its herd. However, their efforts bore no fruitful results. Later, a litigation was filed at the Madras High Court by an activist named S. Muralidharan, who requested the court to order the forest department to stop their efforts to unite Bommi with its herd as it posed a grave danger to her life. He also requested the court to order the forest department to put Bommi in a zoo or one of the elephant camps functioning under it. On 24 October 2019, taking cognizance of the litigation, Justices M. Sathyanarayanan (now retired) and N. Seshasayee of the Madras High Court asked the forest department to bring Bommi to the Theppakadu Elephant Camp at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, where Bomman, who raised Raghu, took charge of Bommi to raise her with “utmost care” and “in a safe manner.” Initially, Raghu did not welcome Bommi into the family, and he would often get jealous of her because Bomman and Bellie diverted their care and attention towards her. However, as time progressed, Raghu accepted Bommi and stopped getting jealous of her.
- In 2017, Bomman was approached by Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga to appear in a short documentary film titled The Elephant Whisperers. The film featured Bomman, Bellie, Raghu, and Bommi.
- The film’s shooting began in 2017, and it was completed in 2022. It was released on Netflix on 8 December 2022.
- On 13 March 2023, the film received the Academy Award in the Best Documentary Short Film category. While giving an interview, Bomman expressed his happiness over the film’s achievement and said that winning an Oscar was a big achievement for the country. Talking about it, he said,
It’s a matter of pride for our country. The documentary makers just filmed me and the elephants as we normally are and captured our regular lives on a day-to-day basis. However, standing in front of the camera and talking was different as it was my first time. I’m thankful to Kartiki madam and also to the elephants. I am happy that the award has brought pride to the entire nation and our forest department.”
- In 2023, on Madras High Court’s order, the forest department of Tamil Nadu posted Bomman to the Palacode forest at Dhrmapuri to find and rescue two elephant calves. He, in an interview, said that upon finding the elephants, he would request the forest department authorities to hand over the custody of the calves to him. While giving an interview, he talked about it and said,
These are the two elephant calves that were part of a herd. Their mothers were among the three elephants that had died after getting electrocuted, last week, in Dharmapuri. They went into the forest after being chased away by some men who were in an inebriated state. If I find them, I hope to get the chance to raise them.”
- 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.