Villagers knit ‘jumbo jackets’ to protect elephants from the cold

Animal lovers in Mathura, India have been knitting sweaters for sanctuary elephants at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation Care Center. The rescue is currently home to 20 elephants who are blind, lame or being rehabilitated. The jumbo jackets will keep them warm through the anticipated cold spell in North India.elephant sweaters 2

According to the Times of India, most of the pachyderms have been rescued from trafficking, illegal captivity and cruel circus venues. Almost all of the elephants have suffered through a lifetime of abuse. Now their compassionate rescuers are making sure these giants never suffer again. Several of the peaceful giants spent most of their lives doing hard work in harsh and cruel conditions; caring for their tortured souls physically and psychologically presents a challenge that everyone is prepared to handle. Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS stated:

“It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia. The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with.”

In addition to the jumbo jackets provided for the elephants, the center  also provides the animals with extensive open spaces to roam, frequent baths, good food, the best of medical facilities and lots of love. The organisation also runs an Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Haryana which is home to three elephants. For more information about Wildlife SOS and how you can help, click here.

(Photos screenshots of jumbo jackets to protect elephants via the Independent by Roger Allen)

baby elephant Good things

If only all elephants had the right to be free and raise their own families… Read about excited baby elephant here.

Viral photo of elephants sharing one last moment together is heartbreaking

The viral photo of two elephants sharing one last moment together, as their trunks touch and their eyes longingly gaze upon each other, sadly reminds us how heartless humans can surely be. A Facebook image, posted by Sowmya Vidyadhar, taken on an unknown Bangalore, India city highway just days before Christmas, shows the elephants’ parting moments on two separate trucks; perhaps just seconds before their paths lead in different directions.

Surely elephant emotions reach deep into the human soul because these mammals share so many of our traits. They share the same life span as us and raise their young for nearly 20 years before they reach adulthood. They have strong family ties with intricate social networks, and when a member of the herd dies, elephants mourn very deeply. The young are closely guarded and when migrating, elephants will slow down to accommodate both the young and the very old. Scientists who have studied elephants assure us these immensely intelligent animals easily display jealousy, behavioral issues and love. They are able to communicate in silent voices unheard by man, hear sounds far beyond what we can sense and have memories that are known to span their entire lives. We’ve seen them smile, we’ve seen them grieve, yet we still treat them as if they were placed upon this earth to entertain us.

On December 22, Sowmya Vidyadhar posted the heartbreaking words above the memorable photo:

“Two elephants reach out in a brief moment of love and bonding before being taken away from each other for a lifetime of serving man.
How this image breaks my heart!”

Reactions from readers added to the sadness of the situation:

Sally Kannanthey are such intelligent beings and can recognize their families aftr many many years.. so just imagine the pain they face if they have to stand in chains and see their siblings nearby but can’t even go near them coz of the beatings and shackles ( humans are the worst..”
Eat Pray Love SleepFelt the same emotions the first time I saw this very touching moment ! It’s a pity that systems haven’t changed a bit to look into these areas .”
Ayushee SahaI’m waiting for the day when animals won’t be tortured anymore. When humans shall actually be humane and that day isn’t near…I’m afraid.”
Tragically, the question about humans ever changing or better yet – one day be willing to respect all life still remains unanswered? Even more disappointing is it just doesn’t seem to be heading that way.  We can only hope the elephants shall one day meet again and be together.
(Photo of elephants courtesy of Sowmya Vidyadhar Facebook)