Posted on March 14, 2019
Half of all Asian elephants live in India; the Asian elephants are an endangered species with 25,000 elephants in India. The elephants have an important cultural and religious function; they are often used at religious festivals. They are also important for the tourism industry as a lot of tourists go on elephants rides during their time in India. Unfortunately, their national importance has not benefited them. The total Indian elephant population has fallen by 3,000 since 2012.
The first hospital for mistreated elephants has opened its doors in India. Those elephants were victims of cruelty and abuse by non-professional elephant keepers. They were mistreated for entertainment and tourism; the elephants are used for rides or in circuses in India. The non-professional elephant keepers use inhumane ways to tame the elephants; metal hooks and electric shocks are used to make the elephants obey them. This kind of mistreatment has a negative impact on the elephants' mental and physical health and causes many health problems such as blindness, paralysis and severe stress.
Those elephants can finally retire from their harmful ‘job’ as entertainers for tourists and locals. They can enjoy their peaceful time at the hospital in India. In that hospital, they receive medical care and all the treatments they need, they will no longer be used for entertainment nor get abused. Once the elephants are in better shape, they will be released into a nature park where they can enjoy the rest of their lives.
Tourists can visit the elephants in their new hospital. Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital is only one hour drive from the Indian city, Agra. Agra is popular because of the famous Taj Mahal, an Indian icon.