Delhi’s ‘last elephant’ Lakshmi completes a year in new home
Lakshmi, who was given a new name – Jasmine – in her new home, commemorated her first rescue anniversary gorging on her favourite fruits.Updated: Sep 19, 2020, 11:04 IST
Delhi’s last elephant, Lakshmi, who hogged the headlines when she went missing last year, completed a year in her new home -- the Ban Santour Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Haryana -- on Friday, a wildlife NGO said. Lakshmi’s owner had run away with the elephant when forest department officials tried to seize the pachyderm in July last year in accordance with a 2016 Delhi High Court order to take elephants in the city away from human habitation.
After two months of constant searching, it was finally found in East Delhi’s Yamuna Khadar area near Chilla village and taken to Ban Santour after a dramatic rescue operation that lasted 14 hours. Lakshmi, who was given a new name – Jasmine – in her new home, commemorated her first rescue anniversary gorging on her favourite fruits, an official of Wildlife SOS, an NGO that caters to animal-related distress calls, said.
“The NGO’s veterinarians and elephant caregivers put together a special mouth-watering feast for Jasmine and her friends. She was delighted to find a lavish spread of her favourite fruits waiting for her when she returned from a morning stroll,” Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO, Wildlife SOS, said.
Dr S Ilayaraja, Deputy Director (Veterinary Services), Wildlife SOS, said, “Jasmine’s health has been severely compromised due to negligence and her feet are in terrible condition. She is currently receiving regular medicated foot baths to aid the fast recovery of her torn and delicate footpads and wounded cuticles.” After years of separation from her kind, Jasmine has also found her very own family — a herd of four other rescued elephants residing at the Ban Santour Elephant Rehabilitation Centre. Her days are filled with long walks, spending hours in a jumbo pool with her friends and gorging on healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables, Wildlife SOS officials said.
The Ban Santour Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, near the Kalesar National Park, is jointly run by Wildlife SOS and the Haryana forest department.
It is spread over 400 acres of forest land and provides a safe sanctuary for abused, exploited, sick and geriatric elephants requiring lifetime care and treatment. PTI GVS TDS TDS