By Brij Khandelwal
Agra, Dec 16 : Fifty-year-old Jai can now breathe freely and enjoy his sunset years in comfort at the Elephant Hospital on the Agra-Mathura border.
Jai, the elephant, was forced to keep moving in spiked chains from villages to towns by beggars asking for alms.
The Rajasthan Forest department finally decided to book the offenders and secure the release of Jai, from the offenders. A lifetime of hardships ended and a new era has begun in the life of the hapless animal.
The elephant has been handed over to Wildlife SOS for long-term medical treatment and care as the spiked chains had become embedded inside his leg causing severe infection endangering his life. The elephant’s hind limbs were bound in spiked chains, causing chronic wounds and infection requiring immediate medical attention.
Animal lovers reacted saying it was indeed shocking that the elephant named ‘Jai’ meaning ‘victory’ was forced to walk thousands of miles across Punjab, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and finally to Rajasthan.
His painfully infected wounds that have festered due to years of neglect have severely affected his overall health condition.
The elephant could be transported after written permissions from the Chief Wildlife Wardens of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in a specially designed elephant ambulance to help facilitate the animal’s medical care. The veterinary team carried medical equipment for providing immediate relief to the pachyderm and also assessed if he was physically fit to be transported.
Raghunath Mishra, Divisional Forest Officer, Mathura said, “Rajasthan Forest Department requested to send this elephant for medical care to the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department issued permission so the elephant can receive medical treatment.”
Hemant Singh, IFS- Deputy Conservator of Forest, Jhalawar said, “I would like to thank the team at Wildlife SOS for their dedicated efforts to provide treatment to this male elephant who is suffering from severe health complications.”
Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder and Secretary of Wildlife SOS said, “The use of spiked chains is illegal. When pulled, the spikes tear at the flesh and create immense pain for the elephant and this is how they are controlled using pain and fear. The wounds often don’t heal and can become infected and gangrenous over time.”
The Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital in Mathura was established with support from the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department in November 2018 and has provided specialized medical treatment for injured, sick and geriatric elephants across India.