Elephant injured in circus fitted with rubber shoe
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Elephant injured in circus fitted with rubber shoe

September 9, 2023

Kumari shows improvement after ingenious solution

Mysore/Mysuru: An elephant, suffering from a severe leg injury sustained during her harrowing time in a tourist entertainment facility, has found relief and care from veterinary experts who have devised an innovative solution for her ailment.

This heart-warming story comes from Hunsur Wildlife Division where a 60-year-old female elephant named Kumari has been residing at Doddaharave Elephant Camp.

Kumari, an elephant with a troubled past, had been living with a painful wound on her right foreleg, making her movement excruciating. Despite several attempts at treatment, her condition had not improved, with all medicines proving ineffective. The injury on her leg had been stubbornly resistant to healing, leaving her in pain and agony.

The caretakers at the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve had provided shelter to Kumari and her companions after they were rescued from a circus company that had been facing allegations of animal mistreatment. Out of six elephants initially taken in, two tragically didn’t survive, emphasising the dire need for care.

Dr. H. Ramesh, a veterinarian specialising in wildlife at Nagarahole, took up the challenging task of finding a solution to Kumari’s persistent leg injury. Her wound had not responded to traditional treatments and her mobility remained compromised. Dr. Ramesh devised a unique method to treat the wound and alleviate Kumari’s suffering.

Using specially crafted shoe made from old rubber tyre treads, Dr. Ramesh provided support to Kumari’s injured leg. These customised shoe offered a cushioning effect and reduced pressure on the wounded area. Kumari, with her new footwear, is remarkably showing signs of improvement and she is able to move more comfortably.

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According to the staff, the treatment began 20 days ago and Kumari has been showing signs of recuperating. Earlier, due to excessive moisture, puss had filled the injured part of the leg and was not healing. The pus was drained off and antibiotics have been administered before fixing a cushion-like shoe.

Six elephants were brought from Kerala to Fun Fort near Srirangapatna on the Mysuru-Bengaluru Highway and were part of a circus company brought in for tourist entertainment. However, in 2015, the elephants were allegedly ill-treated there and acting on a complaint, Forest Department raided the entertainment zone and had seized six elephants.

Of the six elephants, two died out of pain and ill treatment. They were tied in the open fields and due to heavy rains and moisture, wounds had developed in the legs of three elephants and two died of infection. Kumari, Roopa and Chaya were shifted to Doddaharave Camp where Kumari’s wound worsened. Now with the cushion-like shoe and the effective application of ointments and antibiotics, Kumari’s condition is improving.

The heart-warming video of Kumari wearing her specially designed shoe was shared on social media platforms by the Forest Department, receiving widespread praise from the public. The innovative approach to treating an elephant’s injury came in for immense appreciation.

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