An obese elephant named Lakshmi was rescued in Muland, India, where her cruel owners had forced her into street begging – a practice banned in the region.
Twenty rescuers from the Forest Department of Maharashtra enlisted the help of a hydraulic crane to hoist the 18-year-old elephant into the back of a flatbed truck. Obesity, severe joint pain and acute arthritis rendered Lakshmi unable to move freely.
The neglected elephant was immediately taken to Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Rescue and Intensive Care Center in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, where veterinarians are continuing to monitor her closely.
“The rescue operation had to be executed at very short notice when the Forest Department located where the elephant had been hidden by the owner,” explained Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar, a Wildlife SOS vet.
“There were many unforeseen obstacles that we could not prepare for,” he continued. “We were dedicated to saving Lakshmi as we had already witnessed Bijlee, Lakshmi’s companion’s, death and did not want Lakshmi to suffer the same fate. I am glad that we were able to successfully rescue Lakshmi. All along the journey from Mumbai to Mathura we had to keep resting and feeding Lakshmi while ensuring she was safe and not stressed from the journey.”
Co-founder of Wildlife SOS, Geeta Seshamani, added, “Lakshmi is a classic example of captive elephants being neglected and mismanaged due to ignorance and greed of the owners. Wildlife SOS is working with the State Governments and Government of India to bring about awareness and change in the welfare of these captive elephants.”
Via: Daily Mail