The rescue and rehabilitation of an ailing elephant lays the foundation of their first steps to freedom in a new, kinder life. These elephants have been reduced to mere commodities their whole life, being worked to a breaking point in spite of suffering from a host of serious diseases. In the month of June, our team saved the life of one such old, blind elephant who was forced to beg on the narrow, unforgiving streets of Uttar Pradesh. For her graceful stature and immeasurable strength, we named her “Nina” which means grace. In just a few hours, she occupied a special place in our hearts, as she delightfully gorged on fresh watermelons and gave herself relaxing dust baths.
The bell removal ceremony marks an important step of progress in an elephant’s road to recovery and recuperation at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Rescue Centres. These bells are not only a ringing reminder of their past but also a huge part of their past life that they’ve spent suffering immense neglect and ill-treatment. For blind elephants, extra caution has to be undertaken in removing the bells, after giving them the time they need to adjust to their surroundings. Our veterinary team and elephant care staff closely observed her progress and when the time was right, Wildlife SOS Director of Veterinary Operations and Research, Dr. Arun A Sha, removed her bells!
Dr. Arun with Nina’s bells, while she munches on some fresh green grass! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
Original post here.