A jumbo feast for the 25 royal pachyderms residing at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC) was laid out by the Wildlife SOS on the Elephant Appreciation Day celebrated every year.
Trumpets of joy echoed throughout the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC) as Wildlife SOS veterinarians and caregivers put together a special buffet for the elephants under their care on Wednesday. As the elephants departed for their morning walks, the dedicated staff set up a grand buffet of green fodder, corn, watermelons, bananas, pumpkins, and papayas.
Every year the Wildlife SOS staff puts in a lot of effort to develop innovative ideas to make the feast more enjoyable for the sublime pachyderms. This year the fruits were stacked one on top of another to allow the elephants to topple over the fruits as they dive head first into the feast!
On returning from their walks, the elephants rushed towards the mouth-watering meal, gobbling up all the delicious fruits. This annual jumbo feast was the first-ever for newly rescued elephants Nina and Emma, who thoroughly enjoyed the preparations done for them.
Elephants like Nina and Emma had been reduced to mere commodities their whole life, being worked to a breaking point in spite of suffering from a host of serious diseases. Earlier this year, they were rescued by Wildlife SOS and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and are currently undergoing specialised medical care and treatment at India's only Elephant Hospital.
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO of Wildlife SOS, said, "Watching our resident elephants enjoy a peaceful retirement fills our hearts with happiness. When elephants are captured, they are abused physically as well as mentally to the point that they are incapable of returning to the wild. Wildlife SOS is committed to providing these rescued elephants a second chance at a safer, kinder life along with the best possible medical care."
Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder & Secretary of Wildlife SOS, said, "Our elephants bring all of us at Wildlife SOS so much joy that we are thrilled to give back to them. This year was even more special, with Nina and Emma joining us. The two kind souls were rescued this year as processional elephants. We are so glad to be able to give them the love and appreciation that has been long overdue."
Baiju Raj M.V, Director Conservation Projects, Wildlife SOS, said, "Elephant Appreciation Day is not only a celebration of these majestic animals, but also of our relentless supporters whose generosity has enabled us to provide these elephants with the best quality of life and also the love and care that they truly deserve.
India is home to over 50 per cent of the population of Asian elephants in the world, making India the last strong-hold of Asian elephants. Yet, elephant populations continue to face various threats like habitat encroachment, poaching, and captivity in tourism and begging industries.
Wildlife SOS, established in 1995, started working with elephants in the year of 2010. Wildlife SOS also established India's first and only Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, Mathura in 2010 as well as India's first Elephant Hospital, Mathura in 2018 in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department. With state-of-the-art veterinary facilities, the hospital cares for geriatric or injured elephants. Presently the centre is treating over 25 elephants. (IANS)