Chanchal’s Eight-Year Long Journey with Wildlife SOS, by her Keeper!

June 30, 2020 | By Mahima Sharma

For Chanchal’s keeper, Manekchand, there was nothing but immense love for animals that guided him through his life. Six years ago, when Manekchand joined Wildlife SOS, he felt an instant connection with Chanchal as he would witness her splash around in her pool and give her dear friend, Bijli, tough competition for getting treats from her pipe feeder and haynet enrichment.

On Chanchal’s 8th rescueversary, we have her keeper recount some of the most memorable moments of her -journey with us at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre.

Chanchal and her keeper, Manekchand, share a special bond! [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

“I joined Wildlife SOS around 6 years ago because I love animals, especially elephants. It deeply disturbs me that these beautiful animals have to suffer in such a way at the hands of humans, when we should be treating them with love and respect.”

=When I first saw Chanchal, I felt like I had known her since a very long time. Spending more time with her, I learned about her painful past and how she survived a highway accident that had left her with some serious injuries.”

Chanchal strolling along the riverbank of Yamuna! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

“Chanchal is very mischievous! She always runs from one corner of her enclosure to another, when she sees me carrying fodder to fill her pipe-feeders with, she barely ever lets me keep the fodder in place and ends up snatching it from my hands directly – She even playfully bullies her friends Bijli and Laxmi, and I know it is very hard for people to believe because Chanchal looks so calm but she is very clever.”

Laxmi (L) and Chanchal (R) at the riverbank of Yamuna with Bijli (far behind) [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

“I cannot imagine that it has been 6 years already! I feel like it was only a short while ago that I first met her and she was still a little shy and reserved. She would often wince in pain from her hind leg injury and her pace to walk would be comparatively slower. Chanchal has shown a lot of strength throughout these years as she has been patient in her treatments and has been very cooperative through it all. Today, she leads the trio on the morning and evening walks and is very alert to her surroundings, because as soon as Laxmi tends to run astray from her path, she is quick to rumble out to her!”

Chanchal enjoying some peanuts from Manekchand’s hands! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

“I do agree that Chanchal does her best to guide and lead Bijli and Laxmi, but she herself follows no rules. She is always the first one to enter the pool and splash around in it! As soon as she realises that Bijli is approaching the pool, she will pretend to nap so that Bijli does not get a chance to enter the pool. Even when I call out to her, she will not respond, she is very pampered!”

Manekchand felt an instant connection with Chanchal and has been there through her healing journey with her! [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Chanchal was a begging elephant who survived a tragic truck collision that left her entire body covered in wounds and abscesses. She displayed aggressive stereotypic behaviour and was extremely anxious and wary of her surroundings during the first few months at the centre. She survived with her strength and will power along with the constant love and care by our team of veterinarians and her keeper!

You can support Chanchal’s journey with us at Wildlife SOS by becoming her monthly sponsor and help her live a comfortable life!

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