Malkangiri: At a time when people are unable to count on family and friends, a wild boar has been treating a temple priest in Malkangiri district as his father and getting the same love and affection in return for the last 25 years.
Reportedly, Mahendra Patra of Jagannath Mandir Sahi in Malkangiri town had saved the wild boar from floodwaters around 25 years back. He had raised the boar as his son and named it Raju.
The wild boar grew up among a herd of goats and follows the commands of Mahendra. Ice cream, biscuits, chocolates, and temple treats are Raju’s favorite food.
After Raju grew up, Mahendra took him to the forest in fear of a case by the forest department. However, Raju returns to the temple whenever it is time to eat. After eating food from Mahendra, he returns back to the forest for a walk.
Mahendra Patra said that forest department officials have repeatedly failed to rehabilitate Raju in the forest. The boar has never harmed anyone and gladly receives food items from the hands of people.
Mahendra is an animal lover who has been engaged in the worship of Maa Mangala. He has not married and dedicated himself to the service of wildlife. He has received praises from various quarters for his selfless service.