India’s first elephant hospital opens up at Mathura

India’s first hospital dedicated to elephants has opened in Mathura at Farah block’s Churmura village. The first-of-its-kind hospital has unique facilities including wireless digital X-ray, laser treatment, dental X-ray, thermal imaging, ultrasonography, hydrotherapy and quarantine facilities

Image courtesy: Wildlife SOS
Image courtesy: Wildlife SOS

On Friday, November 16, a bevy of supportive government officials, curious journalists, and compassionate celebrities joined Wildlife SOS staff to inaugurate the building, tour the facilities, and celebrate for elephants.

Located close to the elephant conservation and care centre, the hospital is designed to treat injured, sick or geriatric elephants and is equipped with a medical hoist for lifting elephants, as also an elephant restraining device with a dedicated indoor treatment enclosure for long duration medical procedures.

India’s first elephant hospital is jumbo sized with a built-up area of nearly twelve thousand square feet with observation area for overnight monitoring of elephants under treatment using Close Circuit Infra-Red CCTV cameras. Training courses will be organised by Wildlife SOS to spread knowledge on elephant medical care, humane elephant management and veterinary procedures to spread compassion.

Image courtesy: Wildlife SOS

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Yaduraj Khadpekar, senior Veterinary Officer, Wildlife SOS, said, “We inaugurated this hospital yesterday (Nov. 16). At the moment, 210 elephants are being treated at the centre. We have professionally trained Elephant specialist which will help us provide the best and effective carer for the animals.”

He added, “Our aim is to provide the highest quality of medical services to the pachyderms. The hospital will treat circus elephants, wild elephants and even stray elephants which roam the streets. We’ve been trying to start this full-fledged hospital since a year now. I’m glad that we have finally started it. Different types of treatments will be provided to the elephants. Dental care will be another aspect of the hospital. We also have an operation theatre. This hospital is a special place. Elephants will greatly benefit from it.”

Wildlife SOS is an NGO which established the first Elephant Conservation and Care Center (ECCC) in 2010 which is currently providing lifetime care and treatment for over 20 rehabilitated pachyderms, rescued from illegal captivity and circuses where they were ill-treated and subjected to cruelty. Today, the ECCC is a living, breathing model of humane elephant care and treatment and a result of a collaboration between Wildlife SOS and the State Forest Department of Uttar Pradesh. The Elephant Hospital was built entirely with private donations and CSR support.