Chanchal celebrates a decade of freedom

Updated on Jul 01, 2022 10:56 PM IST
To celebrate her 10th rescue anniversary, the Wildlife SOS team prepared something special for Chanchal. Her caregivers designed a treat in the shape of the numerical ‘10’ using cherry fodder.
Chanchal was used as a begging elephant who survived a tragic truck collision and was later rescued by Wildlife SOS. (SOURCED)
Chanchal was used as a begging elephant who survived a tragic truck collision and was later rescued by Wildlife SOS. (SOURCED)

A 26-year-old elephant ‘Chanchal’ celebrated a decade of freedom on Friday, after being used as a begging elephant for several years and surviving a severe accident. The pachyderm was rescued by Wildlife SOS 10 years ago after a truck collision left her severely wounded, informed a press statement issued by the public relations office of Wildlife SOS.

“Ten years ago, conservation NGO Wildlife SOS rescued Chanchal and brought her to the elephant conservation and care centre in Mathura, giving her the chance to live a safer life at the conservation centre. Chanchal was a begging elephant who survived a truck collision that left her severely wounded,” stated the press statement.

To celebrate her 10th rescue anniversary, the Wildlife SOS team prepared something special for Chanchal. Her caregivers designed a treat in the shape of the numerical ‘10’ using cherry fodder. The team also prepared a jumbo platter with fruits and vegetables cut in various shapes. After taking a refreshing dip in the Yamuna river, Chanchal along with Bijli and Laxmi enjoyed the fruit feast with her companions Bijli and Laxmi.

When Chanchal arrived at the Wildlife SOS elephant conservation and care centre in 2012, she could barely take her weight and the accident left her left hind joint permanently diffused. Initially shy of her new surroundings at the centre, Chanchal was extremely sceptical and wary of the keepers and the veterinarians who let them near her, informed the press statement.

“She grew comfortable in course of treatment and her wounds started to heal. In the last 10 years, Chanchal has found friends in Bijli and Laxmi and over time, the trio has grown inseparable. Laxmi and Bijli’s (other elephants at Wildlife SOS) company has played a crucial role in Chanchal’s decade-long healing journey,” claimed the veterinarians involved in the recovery of Chanchal at Wildlife SOS.

Baiju Raj MV, Director- Conservation Projects, Wildlife SOS said, “Looking at Chanchal, one can see that she has suffered a lot in her past—the abnormality of her gait and her torn ears, all from brutal beatings by a bullhook. Despite the scars all over her body, she carries herself proudly, because she is a survivor.”

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS said, “Elephants are highly social animals and form strong familial ties, both in the wild and in captive care. Remaining isolated for too long can have a traumatic impact on an elephant’s mental well-being. It is therefore fulfilling to see the bond shared by Chanchal, Bijli and Laxmi.”

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