In an eleven hour operation carried out in the dark of the night, a team of about 20 officers from the Forest Department, Police and Wildlife SOS/India, rescued an 18 year old ailing elephant named Lakshmi, from a property where she had been concealed by her owners in an attempt to evade law enforcement agencies.
The operation involved walking the elephant to a safe location 5 kms distant from where she had been held, to a point where she could be easily loaded onto a truck. Lakshmi was unable to get on the truck herself due to her health problems, so Wildlife SOS rented a hydraulic crane to lift her onto the truck bed.
She was given a light sedative to keep her calm during the rescue.
Her owners had used Lakshmi for street begging in violation of the law. They paid no attention to her health and she has become extremely obese and is suffering severe joint pains making her prone to acute arthritis and other ailments. Her companion, Bijlee, owned by the same people could not be rescued in time and died a month ago in pain, due to severe neglect.
Lakshmi has been relocated to the Wildlife SOS Elephant Rescue Center in Mathura.
Source: Wildlife SOS/India. Wildlife SOS is a registered Non Profit Charity in India, USA and UK.