Surreal Splash for Our Rescued Pachyderms!

August 26, 2020 | By Mahima Sharma

Time and again, your feeds on social media will be filled with one of our rescued elephants splashing around in the pools in their enclosures or napping comfortably in it. More often than not, an image of our elephants completely submerged in water with just a trunk lazily hanging on the edge shows their complete relaxation and joy.

In the wild, elephants walk, an average of 30-40 km in a day through the forest, foraging. They take breaks near natural resources of water such as watering holes, streams and lakes for a quick splash, and for older elephants of the herd, a relaxing ground to munch on. Just like their African counterparts, Asian elephants also have the tendency to dig small holes for groundwater to drink or make a small mudbog.

The elephants under our care never knew what it was like to belong to their natural habitat, they were stolen from their herd as calves and subjected to insurmountable amount of cruelty in order to be “tamed”. These elephants bear great wounds and injuries of the past, hence they can never be released back into the wild. Therefore, for all of us at Wildlife SOS, the idea is not only to surround them by proper care and comfort, but also to let them feel as close as they can to their natural habitat!

For our elephants, if there is one thing that they enjoy with all their heart is their “pond”ering connection! With personal pools at their disposal, our elephants love water – whether for drinking, napping, taking the stress off their limbs and even, enjoying their favourite fruits. Once inside, the elephant care staff knows that they will take their own time in coming out.

The buoyancy offered by the water is extremely helpful in taking the weight off their chronically arthritic limbs. All our elephants suffer from this condition as in the past they have walked on unnatural surfaces such as stone roads, tarmac roads, littered grounds . The cooling effect of water helps spell relief for our elephants and brings out a relaxed, playful side!

Here are some photos of our rescued elephants having some fun in the river:

Peanut (L) and Coconut (R) leave absolutely no opportunity to take a detour from their walk and splash around in the water! Their keeper gives up after calling out to them a few times to come out, knowing that this will take a few hours! [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
If you look close enough, there are actually three elephants in this photo! Laxmi (L) and Chanchal (R) in the front while Bijli is in the middle of a comfortable snorkeling adventure right behind her companions! [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
Raju unleashes his playful side in the pool and insists that his favourite watermelons are fed to him while he splashes around in the water, for hours at a stretch! [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
For our elephant care staff, it is firmly believed that if you wish to know the true personality of Walnut, make sure that he has had his relaxing pool time! On a breezy day, Walnut walking on the riverbank of Yamuna, spent almost 2 hours inside the river! [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
Maya (L) and Phoolkali (R) are inseparable, otherwise, but their choice of taking a dip varies! Of the two, Phoolkali is a complete water baby and is a sight to behold when she goes into the water, while Maya returns after a few splashes, to watch her friend completely enjoy herself! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
(From front to last) Holly, Kalpana and Karma enjoying a muddy splash at the riverbank of Yamuna! Holly suffers from a serious degenerative joint disease (DJD) which is why water therapy is the most relaxing for her, in addition to her existing treatment. Holly also enjoys napping in the pool, along with Karma. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
The munchkin of Wildlife SOS, Laxmi, also has severely arthritic limbs due to mismanaged weight which is why the time she spends in her pool is sacrosanct as it immensely helps in relieving her of her discomfort! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
Even our newest arrival, Zara, loves the time she spends at the river Yamuna, especially during the rains! This photoshoot, though resulted in our photographer being completely drenched, captures a relaxed Zara. Seems sufficiently worth it, we believe? [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
It was difficult to find a more apt image than this to describe the joy of our rescued elephant, Macadamia, in his pool! Though tough to decipher, we assure you it is Mac, who spent an hour splashing around in water, throwing water on his keeper, our veterinarian, our photographer and the occasional bird visitors in his enclosure! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

With a dedicated team of elephant caregivers and veterinarians, Wildlife SOS works tirelessly to ensure that these rescued pachyderms live a comfortable and happy life with us, away from the memory of their abusive and painful past. To allow us to continue caring for them, please consider becoming a sponsor here. You may visit our website and learn more about the elephants under our care, their quirks, their background history and their favourite activity!

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