Great news! The Nut Herd is currently on the road to their permanent home at our center in Mathura. When we rescued the four elephants from the Moonlight Circus in early April, their mental and physical health status was poor, so we decided to let them recuperate a bit before transporting them the 1400 km distance to join the Herd of Hope. They’ve spent the last several weeks in a temporary facility provided by ResQ and Protecterra which are Pune-based organizations.
An eight-member team from Wildlife SOS are accompanying the Nuts and have gotten the elephants onto three trucks. The elephants are on their way to Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center, Mathura where they will receive good veterinary care, a healthy diet, companionship, and everything they need to have a healthy future.
Included in the rescue are: Peanut, a 6 year old female; Coconut, a 12 year old female; Mac, a 22 year old bull and Wally, an 18 year old bull elephant. The rescues are part of Wildlife SOS’ campaign to see every last circus elephant in India rescued. When the campaign began, late last year, 67 elephants were enduring life in Indian circuses. With this rescue, that number is down to 62!
The four elephants were rescued by Wildlife SOS from the Moonlight Circus in Maharashtra, the very same circus that made headlines when its owner and several officials were arrested on charges of rape and human trafficking. On the strength of a court order, the Circus in Nanded was derecognized by Central Zoo Authority, Govt. of India and their permission to use animals for performance was cancelled by Animal Welfare Board.
It will take the Nut Herd a couple of days to reach their new home, as they must cover 1400 kms from Pune along with our expert paramedics and rescue team! We will have more details to share in the coming days, as we post updates of their journey on this blog and on Facebook.. So stay tuned and keep checking in!
UPDATE – May 16th, 12 pm IST : The caravan is in the state of Maharashtra and has covered almost 300 kms. Here’s Wally trying to reach out to the girls in the truck beside him. 😀
UPDATE– May 16th, 4pm: The caravan has entered the state of Madhya Pradesh now. The Nutties are only 850 kms away from their new home at ECCC, Mathura! Here’s Mac, waving out to everyone happily from his truck !
UPDATE– May 17th, 1 am: Looks like everyone loves the Nut Herd, as the staff at a toll plaza helped our team splash some water on the eles to keep them cool (that’s Wally getting doused in the pic below). Feeling refreshed, they are now on their way to Indore.
UPDATE– May 17th, 6 am: The team had to halt and take a break as one of the vehicles broke down due to some steering belt problem.. While the vehicle was being fixed, our senior veterinarian Dr. Yaduraj, did dressing of Wally’s tail wound.
Luckily, the vehicle has been fixed now and the caravan is back on the track! 🙂
UPDATE– May 17th, 12 pm: The caravan has taken a slight diversion as the Indore – Gwalior route has extremely bad roads. Thus, we’ll be coming via Jaipur route now. Meanwhile, here’s Coco who can’t seem to wait for the team member to get down in the truck to feed her and puts her trunk into the bucket of fruits! 😀
UPDATE– May 17th, 9pm : The caravan has entered the state of Rajasthan now and now the Nut Herd is just 500 kms away from their permanent home! Here’s Mac grabbing a quick bite from our team member.
UPDATE– May 18th, 2 am: The Nut Herd is well fed and the team has had its dinner as well. Looks like we will have to take a halt at night as the drivers are sleepy and need some rest. We’ll start the journey at 6am in the morning again.
UPDATE– May 18th, 9am: The Nut Herd caravan has covered approximately 100 kms more. A sweet farmer allowed us to take some fresh fodder from his field for the Nutties! The team has quickly loaded the trucks.
UPDATE– May 18th, 4pm: We’re inching closer to Mathura now, only 200 kms more to go! Getting so excited!! In the meantime, Wally gets a good splash to keep him hydrated for the journey ahead.
UPDATE– May 18th, 8pm: Great news! Mac, Wally, Coco and Peanut have arrived at their forever home at Elephant Conservation and Care Center, Mathura finally!! Woopiie! 🙂