India’s elephants get their own hospital
India’s first hospital for elephants is delighting both conservationists and visitors after welcoming its first patients.
The 1,115-square-metre clinic in Mathura, in northern Uttar Pradesh state, features state-of-the-art lab facilities including wireless digital X-rays, hydrotherapy and laser treatment.
During an inauguration ceremony recently, a 49-yearold pachyderm known as Asha was treated by vets as visitors snapped photographs, Reuters reported.
The hospital, which has four staff veterinarians who can treat up to three elephants at a time, is expected to become not only a respite for the animals but also an attraction for tourists.
“It is a matter of great pride that the welfare and care of India’s magnificent heritage animal is finally getting the attention it deserves,” said Maneka Gandhi, a cabinet minister and environmentalist.
The Times of India said the life expectancy of captive elephants in India has fallen from 75 years to less than 40, and animal rights activists say the animals are often ill-treated and can fall prey to poaching, rail accidents and electrocution.