India takes unique stance, opens up jumbo hospital for jumbos!
What do you first see on saying the name: Uttar Pradesh famous for its Mathura and Agra? Well, perhaps it’s beautiful memorial of love: Taj Mahal for foodies, the (Paan) Petha. But for the first time ever, India will launch super-specialty care for animals starting with elephants. How the state fits in? It’s a first of its kind facility for these jumbo animals, located at Mathura.
- The medical centre treating elephants offers digital x-ray, dental, laser, thermal imaging, hydrotherapy and quarantine facility. The elephant hospital therefore treat geriatric tuskers, treat their injuries and sickness.
- This unique idea of operating an elephant hospital was taken by the Agra municipality. Further, it was formally introduced by Divisional commissioner, Mr. Anil Kumar at Churmura village.
- Firstly, the location was crucial to the success as the elephant conservation and care centre is in the close proximity. This aids in jumbo care.
- Likewise, the elephant hospital carries medical hoist to lift these tuskers along with restraint systems, all inside the indoor treatment Avenue. The motive is to take up long term medical procedures akin to the human medical facilities.
- An observation deck is under construction, which will allow the vet trainees and wannabes to observe elephant behaviour from close quarters. This will boost their training in aiding medical education from observation. The day is not far when the future vets will throng this elephant hospital for internships.
Elephant hospital promoters
Apart from the Agra administration, an NGO called as “Wildlife SOS” is aiding the construction of the elephant hospital. The organisation labels the attempt as a milestone in the tusker conservation and management. With an aim to provide best care to the Jumbos, the journey is an attempt at their humane treatment as well.
On one hand, we rever these tuskers as the epitome of Lord Ganesha and attach cultural significance to their existence. On other side, the same animal is ill-treated to satiate the needs of their poor mahouts. However, these animals face dangers of electrocution, train accidents, poaching and even poisoning. Hence, the need for such facility is the necessity of the community.
The Elephant conservation and care centre is also managed and maintained by this NGO. Spread over 1200 square feet, the facility was started in 2010. Today, the facility hosts 20 Jumbos for treatment and recuperative care. Will the same results be replicated in the elephant hospital? All this remains to be seen in the future.
What baffles us is the fact that why Indian Government had not been the initiator in the first place. Also, Agra doesn’t have much of tusker population. Instead, such an amazing hospital should have been firstly opened in southern part of the country, where their population size is quite large.
Similarly, on one hand, the social security of the country is in miserable state and poor are yet to gain full access to healthcare services. On the other hand, these multi-specialist facility for animals, is a slap on face of the woes of common and poor countrymen. The context is somehow dissettleing and hypocrite.
source/elephant retirement park
Do our animals enjoy more care than an average human being? Is this the cause why people like to share their food with animals rather than downtrodden counterparts?
This brings an attention to the fact that the numerous animal shelters are demanding electricity rebate for their support to the society. To what extent is this justified in relation to the burden on the state government? Well, trust us to go dual in approach. We are callous yet humane, all at the same time.
Not the first elephant hospital
Despite all the best facilities for the tuskers, this is not the first elephant hospital in the world.
The world’s first elephant hospital is in Thailand. The Lampang Elephant hospital was also established by an NGO. Called as the “Friends of the Asian elephant” the NGO bought funds to establish facility close to the Mae Yao National park, in the Lampang province.
Opened in the year 1993, it is the pioneer in tusker care and treatment. Till date, the hospital has treated more than 4000 elephants for variety of ailments. From handling simple case of diarrhoea and cataracts to treatment of cancer, the medical community is dedicated full on to the tusker conservation and management.
source/ animal times
This facility is famous for its 50 year old inmate Motala who lost her foot in Burma. After her plight got attention of world media, she received the best care possible at the centre through various funding agencies.
The treatment combines western medicine along with traditional herbal remedies to boost the health of the inhabitants. Also, on site is present a dedicated research facility to promote these herbal remedies.
The hospital also treats gunshot and knife wounds for these elephants. Well that’s not all, they have fitted prosthetic limbs to the jumbo animals who have wrongly treaded on the path laden with landmines!