India’s first hospital for ellies opens

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 26 November 2018

India’s first elephant hospital opened last week in the sacred northern city of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

In the bottom right corner is the hospital’s inaugural stone. Credit: Wildlife SOS

This hospital is the project of Wildlife SOS, an Indian conservation non-profit organisation which has been rescuing and rehabilitating displaced wildlife since 1995. In addition to the giant mammals, they treat animals like Indian sloths and moon bears, leopards, reptiles, and primates.

Despite their significant national and cultural symbolism, Wildlife SOS founders Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani say that India’s elephants have long been abused, and that the ‘state-of-the-art facility’ that opened on Friday 16 November will focus on treating injured, sick or aged elephants.

Elephants Maya and Phoolkali check out the new facilities. Supplied.

 

The NPO explains on its website that the elephants are often already weak from improper nutrition and untreated existing medical conditions, and are treated for wounds to their delicate feet as well as trauma. Elephants are rescued from circuses, temples, highway accidents, and the hands of abusive mahouts – elephant handlers or riders – who go to ‘beg’ on the streets using the animals as props for getting sympathy.

The hospital will be able to treat ellies from the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre also based in Mathura. Features of the new medical facility will include ultrasound and laser therapy technology, a pathology lab and a hydrotherapy pool.






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