Probably the longest wildlife rescue operations, which lasted for months, finally came to an end. An emaciated and starving elephant named ‘Mohan’ was rescued from illegal custody.
The gruelling twenty hour long operation involved over fifty police officers and forest officers to ensure safety and to maintain order during the rescue operation.
The 55 year old male elephant ‘Mohan’ had been labelled the ‘unluckiest’ elephant in the world as several repeated attempts at rescuing him failed and legal proceedings to win his freedom were postponed and delayed repeatedly.
“The District Court in Pratapgarh issued an order to the Police to immediately file a FIR against the people holding the elephant in illegal custody and seize the elephant within 3 days. The rescue operation lasted over 20 hours and faced stiff resistance in the area,” shared Suvidha Bhatnagar, Communication Officer, Wildlife SOS.
“The presence of a large police force helped maintain safety of the rescue team. The mahout of the elephant ‘Ghulam’ was also arrested and sent to jail for illegal custody of the wild animal. The unruly mob damaged one vehicle,” she added.
Medical examination of Mohan elephant conducted by a team of three veterinarians after his rescue revealed elephant was in a truly despicable condition as a result of constant torture and abuse. The medical report confirms the elephant is emaciated caused by severe starvation.
It also mentions that wounds on his body and ears confirm beating and poking by sharp objects, as well as feet injuries that would lead to permanent joint disorders if not properly treated immediately. The elephant’s dung had a lot of round worms and indicated severe worm infestation.
Divisional Forest Officer Pratapgarh, Y P Shukla said, “The elephant Mohan was transferred to custody of Forest Department in Pratapgarh where he will be provided medical care for the time being.”
Dr Adarsh Singh, District Magistrate of Pratapgarh, said, “We complied with the directions of the court to ensure the safety of this elephant.”
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said, “We hope that this breakthrough in attaining Mohan’s long overdue freedom sets a precedent of zero tolerance for illegal ownership of elephants and gives hope to elephants across the country that are held in illegal captivity and suffering abuse and neglect at the hands of their captors.”