The owner of a severely ill 25-year-old male Asian elephant has brought it to the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital Campus in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. The “Makhna” elephant was subjected to cruel and exploitative circumstances, which resulted in her being made to beg on the streets and take part in wedding processions. A comprehensive health assessment carried out at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital Campus has revealed a depressing situation for the pachyderm. The physical features of the elephant include severe malnourishment and dehydration, corneal opacity in both eyes, ear notches from bullhook usage, and several open, infected wounds from wearing spiked hobbles.
Thermal imaging of the pachyderm’s forelimbs and hindlimbs has revealed overgrown toenails on all four limbs, chronic abscesses, and widespread swelling. The young elephant, whose dorsal spine is designed to withstand heavy loads, has multiple fractures, as confirmed by an X-ray report. The false belief that elephants can carry large loads without getting hurt is highlighted by this. Heavy saddles that cause pain, alter gait, and cause spinal protrusions are frequently tied around elephants that are used for entertainment or begging. Under the watchful eye of the NGO’s veterinary team, the elephant is now receiving much-needed rest, hydration, and oral medication to reduce his pain and hasten his healing.
“To minimize the chances of any unfavorable prognosis, the elephant’s condition calls for immediate and comprehensive attention,” stated Dr. S. Ilayaraja, Deputy Director-Veterinary Services, Wildlife SOS. As a first step, water and salt have been given to the elephant to help it stay properly hydrated. The elephant is also being given oral supplements to help with pain and discomfort. These preliminary actions are a part of a larger plan to expedite the healing process and guarantee the animal’s welfare.
“The condition of this elephant underscores the urgency of providing long-term intensive veterinary treatment and care for the elephants used for begging and in processions,” stated Kartick Satyanarayan, CEO and co-founder of Wildlife SOS. It also highlights how urgently required veterinary certificates of health and obligatory biannual inspections are for elephants kept in captivity.