Abandoned elephant calf limps back to life (Malappuram, India)


The Hindu

Date Published

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A three-day-old baby elephant was rescued from near death after its mother abandoned it in the Parayanmedu vested forests, near Karuvarakundu, a couple of days ago.

Forest officials brought the calf to Amarambalam outpost, where it is limping back to life. Special care is being given to the baby, which had a feeble heart rate and dilated eyes when the forest staff found it on Tuesday.

The mother elephant had kicked the baby tusker many times in a desperate move to bring it to life. The giant-sized mother had stood guard to the baby for a day before abandoning it.

The calf started walking on Thursday with the help of the forest staff. Several veterinary surgeons attended to the calf as it showed breathing difficulty. “It is yet to fully recover. But it is showing good signs,” said Abdul Fatah, assistant forest veterinary officer from Thekkady, who examined the calf on Friday.

Dr. Fatah said the baby would continue on antibiotics for some more time, and extreme care had to be taken to prevent any bacterial infection. He applied medicines on the wounds. “We ought to give maximum nutrition at this stage,” he said.

Forest officials under the leadership of G. Dhaniklal, Kalikavu forest range officer, had given milk and glucose to the baby elephant. “The baby had tremendous improvement since we brought it here,” said Mr. Dhaniklal.

The elephant baby pulled a large number of curious visitors to the outpost inside Amarambalam forest on Friday afternoon. They were, however, not entertained as the forest staff feared of a fresh infection to the calf.