JUMBO CARE: Freed from captivity, pachyderms relax in personal pools

: Nearly 29 jumbos, rescued from captivity, at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, Mathura are beating the June heat by chilling out in their personal pools
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Published on Jul 02, 2021 12:29 AM IST
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: Nearly 29 jumbos, rescued from captivity, at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, Mathura are beating the June heat by chilling out in their personal pools.

At the NGO’s Elephant Conservation & Care Centre in Mathura, all resident pachyderms have access to their very own jumbo swimming pools as well as water sprinklers that create cool zones inside their free-ranging enclosures.

The older elephants prefer spending hours simply relaxing in the cool refreshing water while some of the younger ones like Peanut, Coconut, Laxmi and Chanchal happily splashed water and played with rubber tyres placed inside the pools which are 400-square-feet long and 6-feet-deep.

Dr Ilayaraja, deputy director of veterinary services at Wildlife SOS said, “Apart from the jumbo pools, the elephants have been placed on a summer diet consisting of seasonal fruits like watermelons, musk melons and cucumbers which helps keep them hydrated. We are also giving glucose water, electrolyte solution and herbal medication to prevent heat strokes and dehydration.”

To provide easy access to the elephants, there is an inclined ramp leading into each pool. Wildlife SOS is also home to India’s first jumbo hydrotherapy pool for elephants at the elephant hospital in Mathura. Hydrotherapy is a form of physical therapy that uses the therapeutic benefits of water to perform physical rehabilitation in animals, officials said.

Exerting hydrostatic pressure that compresses muscle and joints, hydrotherapy helps in relieving chronic muscle aches as well as rebuild muscle memory with its natural resistance, officials said.

The hydrotherapy pool is 11-foot-deep and has 21 high pressure jet sprays that create water pressure that massage the elephants’ feet and body and help in increasing blood circulation.

Baiju Raj MV, director, conservation projects, Wildlife SOS said, “We also take these animals to the Yamuna river where they thoroughly enjoy.”

Geeta Seshamani, co-founder & secretary Wildlife SOS said, “Our dedicated team of veterinarians and trained elephant care staff work round the clock to cater to the needs of rehabilitated elephants. Wildlife SOS aims to provide these animals a high degree of veterinary care, enrichment and a high quality of life.”

The elephants at Wildlife SOS have been rescued from extremely stressful conditions such as performing in circuses, giving tourist rides, begging on the streets and being used in wedding processions etc. They were often made to navigate environments that their body was not built for or were chained for hours on concrete that led to an early on-set of arthritis, officials said.

Lack of nutrition and improper foot care also resulted in overgrown toenails and cuticles making them vulnerable to cracking. This made walking or even standing highly painful for these pachyderms.

Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder & CEO Wildlife SOS said, “Captivity denies elephants the very basic necessities essential to their survival and well-being. It is reassuring to see that our efforts have made a positive difference to their lives and we will continue to help more such elephants in distress.”

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Saturday, December 04, 2021