Rescued elephants in India now stand a fighting chance thanks to a new “state-of-the art” facility known as the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital. Despite grim statistics*** for this endangered species, the Asian elephant, this proves there are some good humans left in this world.
As they are rescued from cruel conditions in captivity these elephants experience kindness and urgently needed elephant hospital medical care.
***Statistics from World Animal Protection shows over 3000 elephants still held in captivity in India. Those numbers are especially high in the state of Kerala where the abuse and exploitation of Indian elephants (Temple elephants & street elephants / begging elephants) continues to this day.
Some of the Elephant Hospital Patients :
Holly Very first patient. See “Holly’s Arrival” in the Wildlife SOS YouTube video “Highlights of the Year 2018”
Bhola had been hit by a truck while working close to the road
Maya and Phoolkali, unknown conditions
the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital Inaugural Day: 16 November 2018 , a Friday
Attendees: Local dignitaries / government officials , a number of Wildlife SOS donors / supporters, journalists & a few celebrity elephant activists / elephant advocates including actress Lesley Nicol ( Downton Abbey)
the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital Location: “in the Hindu holy town of Mathura… on the banks of the Yamuna River” near Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Conservation and Care Center with their 22 rescued elephants.
Goals of the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital: (“India’s first elephant hospital…specially designed to treat injured, sick, or geriatric elephants”. )
- “To provide the best treatment for elephants in Asia”
- To be “a place of healing as well as a place of learning.”
- To share “knowledge on topics like elephant-care best practices, humane elephant management, and cutting-edge veterinary procedures.”
the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital Facility: “the new jumbo hospital”
- is “state-of-the-art“
- is “spread over 12,000 square feet“
- has elephant hydrotherapy pool
- has elephant quarantine enclosures .
- has Observation Deck to enable “elephant-care practitioners and students” to “observe and learn about elephant treatments from a perfect vantage point”
- has “ample storage space for elephantine quantities of life-saving drugs and veterinary medicines“
- Sleeping quarters provide elephant hospital veterinarians and “additional staff” the ability to be close to their elephant patients to monitor their progress through “certain procedures and treatments ” requiring this “overnight observation”.
- The closed-circuit infrared cameras capture their elephant patients’ behavior throughout the night
Elephant Hospital Equipment & Laboratory Services: (“All of this will enable regular check-ups as well as out-of-routine treatments.” )
- Portable x ray machine
- Ultrasound Machines
- Special tools for elephant foot care
- There is “wireless digital radiological capabilities“
- One digital elephant weighing scale
- “A medical hoist for comfortably lifting disabled elephants and moving them around the treatment area”.
- One protected-contact elephant restraining device
- “An in-house pathology lab“
- Laser therapy available
- ” Is capable of conducting a variety of important laboratory tests for the elephants.”
WILDLIFE SOS ELEPHANT RESCUE BEGINNINGS:
Objective: “to protect Asian elephants from abuse, exploitation and provide them with the best medical care available”
Total elephant rescues since Nov 2018: 26 elephants have been rescued from “heart-breaking conditions”. Rescued from “circuses, temples, street begging” and as a result of “highway accidents”. The State Forest Departments have assisted in transporting the rescued elephants to Wildlife SOS “centers for short-term medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation — and a lifetime of love and care”.
First elephant rescue: In 2008 when “an elephant that had met with an accident in the state of Uttar Pradesh”
Facilities utilized in Wildlife SOS elephant rescues: the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre located in Mathura, & the Elephant Rescue Centre located in Yamunanagar.
Lessons Learned From Elephant Rescues: “As an organization (Wildlife SOS India ) we have evolved in our understanding of the medical issues faced by elephants in captivity and have devoted ourselves to learning the latest veterinary techniques and keeping up with new developments in the medical field. ”
“With every captive elephant rescue, we’ve seen some of the same distressing and depressing things: their bodies are weakened from improper nutrition, their delicate feet are riddled with wounds, they are socially isolated and psychologically traumatized, many have ongoing medical problems that have been left untreated for years. Sometimes they need emergency care after accidents with trucks or cars while working along busy highways and roads, like Bhola.
Even after rehabilitation, these elephants remain dependent on humans for their day-to-day activities, which is why a dedicated team of veterinarians and trained staff works around the clock to cater to the needs of our rescued elephants and to reassure them that they are at a safe place. Over the years, we have evolved in our understanding of the issues these elephants face, and have gained experience in lifelong care of elephants.”
Support Wildlife SOS India: Please donate to this great (& compassionate) elephant charity today. Help Indian elephants. Save Asian elephants.
See more photos of the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital
Sources: all of the quotes (unless otherwise noted) from A Big Leap for the Elephants! India’s First Elephant Hospital
Images: from “Inside India’s first elephant hospital where animals saved from cruel circuses and temples receive help for injuries and psychological trauma” by Tim Stickings at The Daily Mail. (both Elephant Hospital & vet attending to elephant patient). Phoolkali and Maya & Bhola the elephant, severely injured & after his recovery