France confers knighthood on elephant researcher Prajna Chowta

Film-maker and elephant researcher Prajna Chowta has been appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (Knight in the National Order of Merit), one of the highest civilian recognitions of the French government.

The appointment by the President of the French Republic comes “in recognition of a life devoted to caring for wild Asian elephants,” says a letter to Ms. Chowta earlier in June. The official ceremony is expected to be held later this year in Bengaluru.

About Her:

The 46-year-old Ms. Chowta is the founder of Aane Mane Foundation, which for the past 16 years has been researching and conserving wild Asian elephants. She has also authored the Elephant Code Book on captive elephant management as well as the French book Enfant d’Elephant (Elephant’s Child) in 2014, which is based on the sketches of tribals and their relationship with elephants. As a researcher, she was also instrumental in developing an online monitoring system and one of the first GPS collars for elephants in India.

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