Elephants Beat The Heat In Jumbo Pools

July 7, 2021 | By Wildlife SOS
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As maximum temperatures reach up to 47 degrees Celsius in parts of Uttar Pradesh, the team at the Elephant Conservation & Care Centre, Mathura have taken innovative measures to help the elephants beat that summer heat!

At ECCC, all 28 resident pachyderms have access to their very own Jumbo swimming pools as well as water sprinklers that create cool zones inside their free-ranging enclosures. 

Peanut enjoying a splash in her Jumbo pool [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

While the older elephants like Suzy, Asha, Raju, Rhea and Mia, prefer spending hours simply relaxing in the cool refreshing water, some of the younger, more playful ones like Peanut, Coconut, Wally, Laxmi and Chanchal can be seen diving headfirst into the water and playing with rubber tyres inside the pool.

The pools are 400-square-feet and 6-feet-deep, and can easily accommodate one to two elephants at a time. To provide easy access for the elephants, there is an inclined ramp leading into each pool. Apart from providing respite from the sweltering heat, the buoyancy of the water helps take the massive weight off the elephants feet and helps them to relax. 

If there is one thing our resident pachyderms love even more than their pools, its a visit to Yamuna River! From underwater somersaults to going topsy turvy in the cool water and spraying jets of water all over themselves, the elephants enjoy their time in the river so much that their caregivers often end up using the irresistible lure of treats and green fodder to convince them to finally return to the Centre.

The elephants love spending hours playing in the Yamuna River [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Wildlife SOS is also home to India’s first Jumbo Hydrotherapy pool for elephants at the Elephant Hospital. An effective complementary treatment for the elephants’ painful joints and feet is hydrotherapy, a form of physical therapy that uses the therapeutic benefits of water to perform physical rehabilitation in animals. Exerting hydrostatic pressure that compresses muscle and joints, hydrotherapy helps in relieving chronic muscle aches as well as rebuild muscle memory with its natural resistance. The hydrotherapy pool is 11-foot-deep and has 21 high pressure jet sprays that create water pressure that massage the elephants’ feet and body and help in increasing blood circulation.

Phoolkali receiving Hydrotherapy at the Elephant Hospital campus [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS]

The elephants at Wildlife SOS have been rescued from extremely stressful conditions such as performing in circuses, giving tourist rides, begging on the streets and being used in wedding processions etc. They were often made to navigate environments that their body was not built for or were chained for hours on concrete that led to an early on-set of arthritis. Captivity denies elephants the very basic necessities essential to their survival and well-being. Lack of nutrition and improper foot care also resulted in overgrown toenails and cuticles, making them vulnerable to cracking. This made walking or even standing highly painful for these wide-ranging animals.

Apart from the jumbo pools, the elephants enjoy a summer diet consisting of seasonal fruits like watermelons, musk melons and cucumbers which helps them stay hydrated. To prevent heat strokes and dehydration, the elephant care staff also administer glucose water, electrolyte solution and herbal medication everyday.

Watermelons, papayas, bananas are some of the favourites amongst our elephants [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS]

While the past cannot be changed, our dedicated team of veterinarians and trained elephant care staff work round the clock to cater to the needs of the elephants in our care.

Catch our lovable duo Coco and Peanut enjoying a fun day out in the river!

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