“Quirky” Elephant of the Month: Chanchal

November 29, 2019 | By wildlife@dmin

One look at Chanchal and you know, she is onto planning some mischief in her head. As she eyes the tyres in her enclosure and patiently waits for her pipe-feeders to be refilled, Chanchal has already planned her next move to finish Bijli’s pipe-feeder as well!

One look at Chanchal and you will not believe that she was once the victim of a tragic accident that left her battered and bruised not only physically but also mentally. As she prances lightly in her enclosure with her dearest friends, Bijli and Laxmi, it is no less than a miracle that helped her survive and begin the second innings of her life at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, at Mathura. Now that it is established that she is a self-willed elephant, it is fair to mention that she is also a loyal friend who loves spending time with her companions, Bijli and Laxmi. Whether it is in the long walks in the evening or during the target training routine, Chanchal is the one to lead the way at all times.

 

Chanchal out on a walk, with Bijli close behind

Her keeper fondly calls Chanchal the engine of the trio that is Chanchal, Laxmi and Bijli, considering she always leads the way during the walks with Laxmi in the middle and Bijli just shortly after. She ensures that her enthusiasm keeps the other two energized and this way, there is never a dull day! Even when Bijli is getting her toenails trimmed, Chanchal stands close to her friend overlooking the whole process with complete attention, almost as though instructing what to do next without causing any delay.

A splash of water is all that calms Chanchal

Chanchal’s love for her pool is not a secret – she slyly enters the pool and completely immerses herself in the water, hiding from her companions. She always wishes to be the first one in the pool, and the last one out ensuring that she gets to spend the most time inside. However, what you don’t know is that Chanchal is actually very particular about the cleanliness of the pool – in the event that Lakshmi or Bijli enter the pool before her, she will insist upon stepping in the pool unless it is completely cleaned again. While this adds to the to-do list of the team at Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, it must be done for the ‘water baby’ Chanchal so as to make her happy. Now that there is chill settling in the Northern parts of India, Chanchal cannot have free access to the pools as she does all through the year, but her mud baths are regular. Time and again, she will collect a pile of mud in her enclosure and throw it around her, and maybe on Bijli as part of her play-time which lasts all through the day.

Her drum-feeder has green cherries and bajra which she quickly finishes and then towers over Bijli’s grain-feeder to finish her share as well! We haven’t named her Chanchal for nothing! Other than that, her only motivation for her long evening walks are the dates and channa that are popped into her mouth after every 10 minutes so as to ensure that her will to go on is sustained. She is fed her regular diet of fruits which includes watermelons and raw bananas, which are her complete favourite.

Chanchal and her drum-feeder full of bajra and cherries.

Chanchal’s antiques keep us entertained and fills our hearts with a renowned sense of joy each day, she is the true personification of love, innocence and faith.

 

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