Now, pachyderms will get the care they deserve as India gets its first 'elephant hospital'

The team of experts at wildlife SOS conceived the idea of designing India’s first elephant ambulance, built keeping in mind to provide maximum comfort to the pachyderms. Photograph:( WION )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 21, 2018, 07.28 PM (IST) Jessica Taneja

The Asiatic elephants will now be treated in a  world-class hospital facility. Hunted and abused for decades,  India's elephants struggled to get the required treatment. However, Wildlife SOS, an NGO that helps in conservation and care of elephants has set up a hospital dedicated to the beautiful pachyderms of India. 

All major facilities such as wireless digital x-ray, thermal imaging, ultrasonography, tranquilization devices and quarantine facilities are available in the hospital. Earlier elephants requiring critical care were being treated at wildlife SOS care and conservation centre where doctors were working round the clock to restore their health. 

On the outskirts of Mathura, this elephant hospital is spread over 12,000 square feet and is designed to treat injured, sick or geriatric elephants. 

Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of Wildlife SOS says, "I think by building a hospital we are underlining the fact that elephants need welfare measures as much as any other animal. Captive elephants are not meant to be used and abused but instead have to be given the respect which an animal needs if you are going to be using the animal". 

Government data shows India’s elephant population fell to 27,312 in 2017 from 29,391-30,711 in 2012. For decades elephants in India have been poached, tortured or whipped around in either circus rings. Wildlife SOS has been rescuing old and injured captive elephants most of the time just left to die surrounded in their faeces and blood. 

The elephant hospital can treat up to 10 elephants in one go and after the treatment, they will be moved to the care centre which currently houses 22 rescued elephants.

However, the need for a specialised ambulance for elephants was the need of the hour. The road to freedom for rescued pachyderms had not always been a smooth one, and the trucks hired for the purpose of transporting these animals from the area of their rescue to the safe haven at the elephant conservation care Centre had not always been ideal for the long, rough and tedious journey. 

The team of experts at wildlife SOS conceived the idea of designing India’s first elephant ambulance, built keeping in mind to provide maximum comfort to the pachyderms. The ambulance has a specially designed carrier and an inclined roof, automatic electric hydraulic ramp, showers, dual power supply and a designated room for the veterinary team with washing and treatment preparation area. 

"The facility will allow us to take better care, and gradually develop as a destination for humane management of elephants," says Wildlife SOS CEO Katick Satyanarayan.

All major facilities such as wireless digital x-ray, thermal imaging, ultrasonography, tranquilization devices and quarantine facilities are available in the hospital

The elephant hospital can treat up to 10 elephants in one go and after the treatment, they will be moved to the care centre which currently houses 22 rescued elephants. 

Many are of the belief that for decades India's elephants have paid a heavy price for our entertainment, it's now time to care of the beautiful pachyderms in the way they truly deserve. 

Story highlights

On the outskirts of Mathura, this elephant hospital is spread over 12,000 square feet and is designed to treat injured, sick or geriatric elephants.