Farah, 2019.02.06 (SOS): In February 2017, Wildlife SOS & Uttar Pradesh Forest Department carried out an emergency rescue of a 50-year-old tusker (bull) elephant that was being held illegally from Ambedkarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. Used for illegal and commercial events, wedding processions and even begging, the elephant had been coerced into submission and trained by use of cruel techniques involving intimidation, violence and punishment
Formerly known as the ‘Elephant With no Name’, this majestic elephant was given the name Sanjay- meaning victorious.
Sanjay’s feet were in bad condition with cracked toenails and painfully swollen foot-pads, and he had a fracture in his hind limb that made even the slightest movement extremely agonizing. His withering body bore multiple scars from ankush (bull hook) use, and his spirit was all but broken, a testament to the ordeals he had been through. Today, under the constant care and treatment provided by the Wildlife SOS veterinarians and elephant keepers, Sanjay’s wounds have slowly healed, leaving few visible reminders of his abusive past and he is now thriving in the company of his fellow pachyderms at the organisation’s Elephant Conservation and Care Centre.
To celebrate the two-year rescue anniversary of Sanjay’s arrival at the Elephant Conservation & Care Centre, the Wildlife SOS team decided to do something special for him. The team made an ornament shaped in number ‘2’ using freshly sourced sugarcane. Sanjay was delighted to see the jumbo treat awaiting him and using the strength of his dexterous trunk devoured the sugarcane ornament within minutes!
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-Founder & CEO Wildlife SOS said, “It goes without saying in the last two years Sanjay has truly emerged victorious and has shown determination to heal his past wounds. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine the amount of pain and loneliness he endured for so many years. Seeing Sanjay doing so well makes us more motivated to help others in a similar situation as he was.”
Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar, Senior Wildlife Veterinary Officer said, “Sanjay came to us with severe malnutrition, foot ailments and a fractured hind limb, and required extensive care. As part of his on-going treatment, Sanjay is getting relaxing medicated footbaths, his overgrown footpads are trimmed regularly, and he is on a nutritious, healthy diet.”
Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder & Secretary Wildlife SOS said, “Sanjay’s strong will to heal himself from the scars of his traumatic past fills everyone at the center with a sense of hope. His peculiar habits never fail to win our hearts and we hope that the journey ahead of him too will be filled with peace and happiness.”
Wildlife SOS (WSOS) is a non-profit charity established in 1998 with the primary objective of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in distress across India. We actively run wildlife and nature protection projects to promote conservation, combat poaching & illegal wildlife trade. We also work in partnership with the Government and indigenous communities to create sustainable, alternate livelihoods for erstwhile poacher communities.
For more information, contact Arinita Ph. 9560011875 – email [email protected]