Parts of northern India, including the capital New Delhi and neighboring states, are engulfed in the sweltering summer heat.
With the monsoon at least a week ago, and the mercury hovering above 42 degrees, it’s not just us humans that suffer the consequences. It affects animals and birds as well.
But for a group of elephants in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, there is some respite.
Elephants in the care of NGO Wildlife SOS have access to their very own Jumbo pools as well as fountains that create cool zones inside their free-ranging enclosures.
The NGO, which runs the Elephant Care & Conservation Center in Mathura, is now home to 29 pachyderms, all of which have been rescued after years or even decades of a.bu.se.
The elephants absolutely love spending time in their personal pools. While older elephants love to spend hours simply relaxing in the refreshingly cool water, some younger, more playful ones like Peanut, Coconut, Laxmi, and Chanchal can be seen diving first. Get in the water and play with the rubber tires inside the pool.
The pools are 400 square feet wide and 6 square feet deep. For easy access by elephants, there is a ramp leading into each pool. In addition to providing a respite from the heat, the buoyancy of the water helps to take the enormous weight off the elephant’s feet and help them relax.
“The elephants spend hours in the pool and fill our hearts with joy just watching them simply relax in the water. We also took them to the Yamuna River, which they absolutely enjoyed,” said Baiju Raj MV, Director – Conservation Project, Wildlife SOS.
India’s First Jumbo Hydrotherapy Pool
Wildlife SOS is also home to India’s first Jumbo Hydrotherapy pool for elephants at Elephant Hospital in Mathura. Effective complementary treatment for aching elephant joints and feet is hydrotherapy, a form of physical therapy that uses the therapeutic benefits of water for physical rehabilitation in animals.
Applying hydrostatic pressure to compress muscles and joints, hydrotherapy helps relieve chronic muscle pain and rebuild muscle memory with its natural resistance.
The hydrotherapy pool is 11 meters deep and features 21 high-pressure jets of water that massage the elephant’s feet and body and help increase blood circulation.
“In addition to the jumbo pools, the elephants have been put on a summer diet that includes seasonal fruits like watermelon, musk melon, and cucumbers that help keep them hydrated. We are also giving glucose water, electrolyte solutions, and herbal medicines to prevent heatstroke and dehydration,” said Dr. Ilayaraja, Deputy Director of Veterinary Services at Wildlife SOS.