Every year World Elephant Day is celebrated on August 12, which is an annual event aimed to protect and preserve the elephants on our planet, as well as to promote awareness about the need for their conservation. To mark this occasion, Wildlife SOS’ efforts are a cornerstone in elephant conservation which can be witnessed in the veterinary treatment the organisation provides to rescued geriatric elephants under their care.
Managing and operating three rescue and rehabilitation facilities, Wildlife SOS has till date managed to help over 50 elephants. These individuals are rescued from horrific instances of abuse, cruelty, and physical and mental torture. Even after rehabilitation, these elephants remain dependent on humans for their day-to-day survival. Some of the elephants such as Nina, Bhola,
Holly and Suzy are geriatric or old elephants who require specialised veterinary attention.
At over 70 years old, Suzy is the oldest elephant at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura. She suffers from a complete loss of vision in both eyes and is devoid of molars. To take care of these health issues, the elephant caregivers accompany Suzy in her walks to clear the path for any pebbles or obstacles. The veterinary team provides only softened fruits in the form of a paste or ‘smoothie’ for Suzy’s seamless consumption.
Aged nearly 60 years, Bhola is an old male elephant who suffers from loss of sight and a serious tail injury. Being mindful of his safety, the layout and arrangement of Bhola’s enclosure is never altered. The enclosure is devoid of any sharp edges, and soft cushioning is added to the girders to ensure he does not bump and injure himself accidentally. Nina is a 60-year-old elderly female elephant who suffers from arthritis and ankylosis on her limbs. She is also completely blind, which was likely a result of being stabbed in the eyes by a bullhook.