Slave for fifty years, rescued elephant reaches care centre

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New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Considered one of the “most unlucky” Indian elephants, Mohan (55) who was rescued from Uttar Pradesh’s Pratagarh in July finally reached his new abode – Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Care Centre in the state’s Mathura on Thursday to an emotional welcome by wildlife activists.

“We appreciate the compassionate approach of the Lucknow High Court Bench who recognised the deteriorating condition of the elephant and issued necessary remedial orders to ensure his safety,” said animal welfare organisation Wildlife SOS’s co-founder Kartick Satyanarayan.

He added that the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura has necessary facilities to provide this elephant the care that he deserves.

Illegally held by politically-backed captors, Mohan was rescued from Pratapgarh in a 20-hour-long operation carried by over 50 police officials, after the animal activsts from Wildlife SOS sought rescue orders, awaited since 2014, from a local court.

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The elephant was with state forest department in Pratapgarh.

Now in his final home, veterinarians and a dedicated team of experts have charted out a diet and treatment plan for Mohan, who is severely emaciated due to severe malnutrition and neglect.

“His digestive system has been severely compromised by worm infestation. His body is covered in wounds and his liver functioning is severely affected. With treatment equipment along with water baths, pools for hydrotherapy we are hopeful for his speedy recovery,” said veterinarian Yaduraj Khadpekar.

Mohan, along with Raju, another elephant which had been rescued by Wildlife SOS two years back from Allahabad, was caught as a calf and sold at Sonepur Cattle Fair in Bihar.

“Both Raju and Mohan were used as begging elephants. They were placed outside a temple or roadside, and people would throw money for receiving blessings from the elephant, through a gentle tap by its trunk on the customer’s head,” Suvidha Bhatnagar from Wildlife SOS told IANS.

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