An elephant who was shackled for over 50 years and continuously abused by his captors was finally rescued by Wildlife SOS after a persistent effort of over two years. The 55 year old elephant named ‘Mohan’ was poached from the wild as a calf, separated from his herd and his family.
He spent the majority of his time in the villages near Lucknow, where he walked the streets begging for money or begging outside temples or hired out to be used for wedding ceremonies.
He was tied up and beaten to break his spirit (a practice to train elephant) after which he was sold off to be used as a begging elephant. The severe scars and puncture wounds on his body and his emaciated condition confirm the extensive torture and neglect he has endured over the years.
Wildlife SOS has been trying to rescue this suffering elephant since July 2014 when they had rescued ‘Raju’ another elephant who had suffered for decades. Raju elephant cried for joy when he was rescued. Both elephants Raju and Mohan had suffered endlessly for over a century in combined years.
Eventually Raju was moved to a different city separating the two elephants. The fact that they were chained together at a trunk’s length away from one another makes them brothers in pain and each was the other’s only witness to the suffering and brutality they endured.
Repeated attempts by law enforcement, forest department, Police and Wildlife SOS to rescue the elephant were met with hostile and violent local mobs, as well as more than 20 disheartening delays in court proceedings. Mohan earned the title of “unluckiest elephant in the world.”
Then, in early September Lucknow High Court took note of Mohan’s deteriorating health condition and the years of unimaginable cruelty meted out to him by his owners and finally issued directive that the elephant be shifted forthwith to the Elephant Care Center in Mathura run by Wildlife SOS.
At Care Center he could be provided long term medical treatment and life time care as the specialised treatment required by the elephant was available here. After suffering for over 50 years, Mohan elephant has finally arrived at his new home.
Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar, Elephant Veterinarian of Wildlife SOS, said, “The elephant is severely emaciated due to severe malnutrition and neglect. The digestive system has been severely compromised by worm infestation.”
“His body is covered in wounds and his liver functioning is severely affected. With access to proper diagnostic and treatment equipment along with water baths, pools for hydrotherapy and a staff of full time veterinarians that are already charting out a diet and treatment plan for Mohan,” he added.
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder Wildlife SOS, said, “We appreciate the compassionate approach of the Lucknow High Court Bench who recognized the deteriorating condition of the elephant and issued necessary remedial orders to ensure his safety.”
Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said, “It is with immense joy that we welcome Mohan to the Elephant Care Center. His freedom has been a long-time coming, and we are so grateful to everyone who stood strong through this long and often disheartening and dangerous fight for his freedom.”