Follow Ginger’s Journey To Wildlife SOS

January 8, 2022 | By Malavika Jayachandran

Just a day after Pari’s successful rescue, the Wildlife SOS team sets out on another mission to rescue Ginger. At approximately 60 years of age, Ginger has been living life as a begging elephant, adorning bright paint on her face and extending her trunk in front of people in the hopes of alms. At some point in her life, Ginger had been blinded in both eyes, depriving her of her vision as well as her freedom.

Ginger was rescued by Wildlife SOS
Ginger had spent decades as a begging elephant [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Despite being blind and emaciated, Ginger continued to be overworked. Considering her debilitated condition, the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and Wildlife SOS embarked on a rescue mission to bring her to the Elephant Hospital for specialised medical care.  

Thursday, 2nd Dec, 2021 at 12:15 PM (IST)

The Wildlife SOS team sanitizes the Elephant ambulance in the aftermath of the Pari rescue. We want to ensure that the ambulance is as clean as possible for Ginger’s journey. We sanitize the ambulance to ensure that there are no germs or any unhygienic substances that Ginger could come into contact with.

The ambulance is sanitized to ensure proper hygiene for Ginger's journey
The ambulance is sanitized to ensure proper hygiene for Ginger’s journey [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Roohi Narula]

Thursday, 2nd Dec, 2021 at 01:00 PM (IST)

The team equips the ambulance with other items like rubber padding for the flooring. They also lay down some soft hay for Ginger to feel comfortable. Our team stocked up on fruits and vegetables like bananas, watermelons, cucumbers, sugarcane, etc. to make sure that Ginger has more than enough food for the journey. Lastly, the team packed necessary medicines and equipment to administer-the-spot treatment to Ginger.

The team equips the floor with rubber padding to ensure a smooth journey for the blind elephant
The team equips the floor with rubber padding to ensure a smooth journey for the blind elephant [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Roohi Narula]

Thursday, 2nd Dec, 2021 at 5:20 PM (IST)

The team departs from the Wildlife SOS Elephant hospital and embarks on the journey to bring Ginger to safety. Despite having returned from a long and exhausting rescue the previous day, the whole team was eager to get to Ginger as soon as possible. Some of the anxiousness was especially fueled by the fact that she was a geriatric, blind elephant who had been abused for so long.

The team embarks on the journey to get to Ginger
The team embarks on the journey to get to Ginger [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Thursday, 2nd Dec, 2021 at 8:40 PM (IST)

Ginger was not too far from us, so after a few hours of travel, the team quickly reached her location. It was difficult for the Elephant Ambulance and support vehicles to reach her exact location, so the team had to walk through a field in the dark with the help of powerful flashlights to reach Ginger! Everyone was stunned into silence after seeing her terrible condition with their own eyes. Ginger was standing eerily still in the dark; her face adorned in colourful paint to make her seem more attractive for begging purposes.

Our veterinary doctor, Tenzing Lachenpa, carefully approached her to examine her. Ginger was evidently malnourished and an examination of her eyes revealed that she was completely blind in both eyes, much to our despair. Despite being free of any chains Ginger did not make any attempts to move or leave. She simply stood at one spot unmoving. The team was silenced by the thought of how humans could abuse an elephant to such an extent that her spirit would be completely broken.

The team sees Ginger for the first time ever
The team sees Ginger for the first time ever [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
Dr. Tenzing examines Ginger on the spot with the assistance of Ginger's assigned caregiver
Dr. Tenzing examines Ginger on the spot with the assistance of Ginger’s assigned caregiver [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Thursday, 2nd Dec, 2021 at 10:00 PM (IST)

Underneath the cloudy night sky, the team attempts to help Ginger board the ambulance. The air is tense as Ginger remains unsure of her footing due to her blindness and refuses to climb aboard. With a lot of patience, Ginger’s assigned caregiver patiently works to guide her inside the ambulance with the lure of bananas and pumpkins. Ginger is finally aboard the ambulance and the team gets ready to set off on the journey back to the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital.

Ginger's caregiver lures her into the ambulance with the help of fruits
Ginger’s caregiver lures her into the ambulance with the help of fruits [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
The team gets ready to start the return journey
The team gets ready to start the return journey [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Thursday, 2nd Dec, 2021 at 1:00 AM

The team stops for a small break to drink some hot tea and nourish themselves before continuing onward. They have smiles on their faces now that they have Ginger with them in the ambulance safe and sound. The caregiver attempts to give the dehydrated Ginger some water but she is anxious aboard the ambulance and refuses to drink any.

The team takes a short tea break
The team takes a short tea break [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Suryoday Singh Mann]

Friday, 3rd Dec, 2021 at 2:30 AM

The veterinarian continues to keep an eye on Ginger throughout the journey to make sure that she feels safe and comfortable. He stays inside the ambulance with Ginger for the entire journey and makes sure to communicate to the drivers if there is a need to slow down the vehicle or stop at any point. The drivers are also careful to avoid any bumps in the road and watch out for potholes that may cause the ambulance to shake and agitate Ginger.

Dr. Tenzing keeps a watchful eye on Ginger during the journey
Dr. Tenzing keeps a watchful eye on Ginger during the journey [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Friday, 3rd Dec, 2021 at 3:19 AM

The rescue team arrives at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital! The team parks the ambulance and lowers the hydraulic ramp for Ginger to take her first steps into freedom. Her caregiver stays by her side and acts as her eyes, carefully guiding her into the hospital with his comforting touch. Ginger nimbly steps out of the ambulance and walks onto the weighing scale.

Ginger's caregiver guides her out of the ambulance
Ginger’s caregiver guides her out of the ambulance [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Friday, 3rd Dec, 2021 at 3:24 AM

Ginger’s caregiver gently guides her inside the treatment pen. Ginger she shall spend the night there and be examined by the veterinary team in the morning. Ginger’s caregiver lovingly rubs her trunk to make sure that she feels safe and to assure her that he is by her side.

Wednesday, 15th Dec, 2021

Dr. Tenzing conducts Ginger’s health assessment and documents all the health issues she has ranging from sloughed footpads to blindness to multiple abscesses.

Dr. Tenzing gives Ginger’s health assessment

Monday, 3rd Jan, 2022

Ginger is now finally comfortable enough in her enclosure to lay down and go to sleep. She leans her weight against the mud pile which we set up for her every day and dozes off into a deep sleep. Ginger is also drinking more water now and eating well. She is more cooperative with the veterinarians during her treatment and seems to have settled down into life at the Elephant Hospital. Ginger has come a long way from the time of her rescue and she has an even longer way to go but we are happy to see these little improvements.

Ginger has come a long way since her rescue [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Suryoday Singh Mann]

Share With

Related Posts

Our Social Media

Hotline Number | हॉटलाइन नंबर

Delhi NCT Region +91-9871963535
Agra Region (UP) +91-9917109666
Vadodra Region +91-9825011117
J&K Region +91 7006692300
+91 9419778280

Subscribe To Our Newsletter