An emaciated female elephant, that dragged herself through the day, with the overbearing weight of a carrier, will no longer suffer after being rescued by Wildlife SOS. Her frail structure held testimony to the life that she lived as a begging elephant moving from pillar-to-post.
Wildlife SOS named her “Zara” which means princess – something that she rightly would have been, in her herd in the wild, but the evil clutches of illegal wildlife poaching snatched that joy from her and pushed her into a lifetime of captivity.
Due to Zara’s rapidly deteriorating health, primarily affecting her joints, her owner was unable to meet her urgent medical needs. The nationwide lockdown that was imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was the primary cause for Zara’s owner not being able to begin her medical treatment. As soon as relaxations were levied, he was determined that his elephant would live a better life under the care of Wildlife SOS at the Elephant Hospital situated in Mathura. The Elephant Hospital opened its gates for Zara’s arrival and to provide her with the necessary medical treatment that would give her the relief she rightfully deserves.
When Zara arrived at the Elephant Hospital, the fresh air and the unfamiliar whiff of her lush green surroundings made her cautious, as well as anxious.
At just the tender age of 21, Zara has developed a serious case of osteoarthritis that has seriously affected her forelimbs and compromised her posture and gait. Her right forelimb, in particular, is damaged, along with an inflamed elbow joint that is the main reason of the slight limp that she has as she walks.
It is heartbreaking to imagine that with such a seriously compromised leg, that she was able to survive all these years of abuse. It is clear that Zara has an unfathomable amount of strength and willpower. Zara also has a wound on her left elbow and shoulder, which will be regularly cleaned and dressed with antiseptic ointment for quick recovery.
Her joints, however, are of serious concern and the Wildlife SOS veterinarians will be conducting X-Rays, as well as a complete blood report to assess the exact condition and seriousness of her limbs. Zara will be administered joint supplements and anti-inflammatory ointment for relief.
Zara’s right forelimb is the primary cause of concern for the veterinarians. Zara presently weighs 1970kgs, which is visible in the distinct, protruding shape of her spine that is due to her malnourishment. To everyone’s relief, her vision is proper and she is slightly anxious about her new surroundings, which is why the elephant care staff and veterinarians are giving her the time that she needs.
Even in her pain and discomfort, Zara appears to have a zeal for life as she was quick to take a liking to her bucket of watermelons and splash her trunk around! Her enclosure is equipped with mud beds for her support, to take the weight off of her legs, and for her to rest. Although Zara just wishes to look around her enclosure and watch her neighbors, the resident pachyderms instead.
While Zara has been on a tiring journey, emerging from her past life and taking small steps into her new home, Wildlife SOS requests everyone to keep her in your prayers while their team of veterinarians, elephant care staff, and hospital staff work to make her comfortable.
She will no longer be paraded around on hot tarmac roads, or have just a few stalks of dry grass and bananas while tethered to a confined, concrete space, pushing to break free.