From WRRC, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, Bangalore, India
Nothing highlights the tragic fate of captive elephants than the plight of Menaka, the 19-year old female elephant who was made to suffer abuse and cruelty in the name of ritual and tradition in the custody of a temple.
She was used for begging, made to walk the hot asphalted roads and was denied even basic healthcare. She was made to stand in her own urine and dung the whole day and a ramshackle vehicle garage was her shelter for the night.
Her plight was brought to the notice of CUPA (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action) which approached the local police station in 2004. Even as investigations were apace, the cruelty to Menaka continued unabated. The Karnataka Forest Department seized Menaka from the temple in 2007. WRRC stepped in to help Menaka by contributing to her feed and to pay the salary of her mahouts.
However, years of abuse and neglect had taken a toll on her health and Menaka was diagnosed as suffering from an infectious and potentially contagious condition that needed quarantine facilities and treatment. Veterinarians advised special diet and nutrition and medical treatment for Menaka. The treatment is for a period of one year and involves isolation from other elephants, personal care, periodic monitoring and good health care.
WRRC has appealed to the forest department for permission to house Menaka at a suitable alternative location and the formalities regarding the same are being worked out. If for some reason this is not possible, WRRC will contribute additional food, medicines and supplements to ensure she makes a complete recovery, while she is at her present location in Bannerghatta Biological Park.
Menaka has come a long way, thanks to her own grit and determination. After years of neglect and cruelty by humans, she is finally beginning to see the human species as protectors and saviours. At this crucial juncture, Menaka desperately needs helping hands and the support of compassionate persons who can contribute towards her specialised nutrition, treatment, care and attention.
WRRC is totally committed to Menaka in her journey on the road to recovery and normalcy.