By Brij Khandelwal
Agra, Jan 24 (IANS) Elephants at a rescue and conservation centre here have been provided with special jumbo-sized woollen jackets to protect them from the biting cold.
The centre is run by the Wildlife SOS, which also manages the country’s largest sloth bear rescue centre at the Keitham Lake just outside this Taj city on the highway to New Delhi.
“We have designed and created jumbo-sized jackets to ensure that the resident pachyderms are well-equipped and snug to tackle the freezing winter,” when the temperature can plunge to 10 degrees Celsius, a functionary of the centre told IANS.
“It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable, having suffered so much abuse, making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia. The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with,” Wildlife SOS Co-founder & CEO Kartick Satyanarayan said.
“The elephants under rehabilitation at Wildlife SOS have been rescued from shocking circumstances. We aim to provide them with a safe habitat where they can live like elephants,” Wildlife SOS Secretary and Co-founder Geeta Seshamani said.
The Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre is currently home to 20 rescued elephants that are blind, lame or on the mend. The organisation also runs an Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Haryana’s Yamunanagar district which currently houses three female elephants.
Rescued from illegal captivity, trafficking mafia, exploited for street begging and circuses where they were abused and subjected to extreme cruelty and decades of suffering, each of these gentle giants has had a tragic past, several of them being forced to spend a majority of their lives doing hard work in harsh and cruel conditions, which in turn has taken a negative toll on them both physically and psychologically.
Today, under the care and treatment of a dedicated team of veterinarians and elephant care staff of Wildlife SOS, these majestic creatures are adjusting to a life of dignity, freedom and peace, in a place where they can spend their days happily, with frequent baths, a nutritious diet, and good veterinary care.
(Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at email@example.com)