For Elephants, A Hospital to Call Their Own in Kerala

Thrissur, Kerala: A proposal for an elephant exclusive hospital in Kerala Thrissur district has left animal lovers overjoyed.

NDTV travelled to Kottoor Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, 20 kilometres away from Thiruvananthapuram, to witness how rescued elephants have coped with adequate care and medical attention, the privilege of only few.

Just over two years old, these elephants Raja and Rana, share a common story of survival. They were rescued in critical conditions from two different districts of Kerala - Raja from a deep pit and Rana enmeshed in barbed wires.

Today they are taken out for walks in the wild, given a bath daily and scrubbed thoroughly and are continuously monitored by a doctor.

"Even their diet, the quantity that they should eat is all decided by a doctor. They have regular check-ups. Rana was brought in a very severe condition, but he has completely recovered from all his bruises", says his mahout, who is in his thirties.

Just a stone's throw away from him, is seven-year-old Unnikrishnan, who was abandoned by his elephant family because of growth dysfunctions, according to officials, But at this centre, his response to medication has been tremendous.

"The doctor here keeps a close eye on elephants, visits them at least twice a week for their dietary and medical requirements. There is one dedicated mahout for each elephant," Wildlife Warden for Thiruvananthapuram Sunil Sahadevan told NDTV.

This rehabilitation camp run by the government sprawls over 56 acres of land and currently provides shelter to 10 rescued or retired elephants.
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