An elephant that has spent nearly four decades in captivity after being leased for use in processions and weddings has been rescued from wildlife dealers.
The elephant conservation charity, Wildlife S.O̲.S, followed the elephant’s movements for almost a year to gather the evidence before it was rescued from its illegal detention facility in Farrukhabad, India.
The elephant Priyanka, believed to be about 44 years old, was found a.ban.doned after a six-day sur.gery to rescue her and is slowly losing her sight, arthritis, degenerative joint disorder as well as leg problems.
The elephant was being used illegally and was hired for weddings but was rescued on November 23 with the Uttar Pradesh Forestry Department and the Local Police’s help.
She was transported by the Wildlife S.O̲.S, the first of its kind in India, and taken to the Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Mathura, where she would receive care and treatment.
A medical examination conducted by veterinarians revealed that she suffered from severe malnutrition and progressive blin.dness, among other problems due to extreme neg.lect and lack of complete me.dical care over years of surviving on a poor diet.
Her feet were in ter.rible condition with overgrown toenails, wo.rn pads, and she had ab.scesses on her right hind leg as well as fun.gal infections of her ears and torso.
Dr. Gochalan Elango, Veterinarian Wildlife S.O̲.S, said: “Priyanka is extremely mal.nourished.
“Her hind leg is bent inward due to a severe nutritional deficiency, and she is suffering from osteoarthritis and arthritis.
“We have also observed overgrown, chapped toenails and severely worn feet.
“She requested immediate veterinary intervention, and our team started with her treatment regimen.”
Priyanka will currently receive wound treatment and enjoy a nutritious diet, gentle exercise, and regular soak in the center’s swimming pool.
Geeta Seshamani, the co-founder of Wildlife S.O̲.S, said: “It’s great to see Priyanka taking her first steps towards a life of recovery and freedom.
“She is in need of a lot of me.dical care right now, but we are relieved to know that Priyanka can now simply be an elephant in the team of other rescued elephants.”