A microchip has been implanted on Lakshmi, an elephant of the Manakula Vinayakar Temple in the city by forest department officials as part of the Centre's decision to prevent poaching of pachyderms and to track their movements.
The officials implanted the 1.5-inch microchip on Monday on the left ear of the 17-year-old Lakhsmi.
The elephant was donated some 15 years ago to the temple by an industrial concern in Puducherry.
Another temple elephant Ganesha in Karaikal would also have the microchip implanted soon, an official of the Forest and Wildlife department said.
The animals would be allotted specific numbers to enable officials locate and trace them.All details of the pachyderms, including its age, weight and their health condition would be monitored with the help of the chips, he said.
The elephant in Manakula Vinayakar temple here is the cynosure of all eyes, especially foreign tourists, who take photos of the animal separately and along with it at the entrance to the temple premises.
The elephant wears braclets on both its forelegs, donated by a devotee, a temple source told.