Rescued elephants at a conservation center in Mathura, India have been issued colorful fitted jackets and “pajamas” to help them withstand unseasonably frigid winter weather.
The Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center is home to 20 rescued and retired Asian Elephants, some of whom are blind, lame or recovering from illness. “The rescued elephants under rehabilitation at Wildlife SOS have been rescued from shocking circumstances,” states Geeta Seshamani, Secretary and co-founder Wildlife SOS. “We aim to provide them with a safe habitat where they can live like elephants.” While the Center's facilities allow the animals plenty of room to roam, northern India is currently experiencing a wave of subzero temperatures and the elephants are uncomfortable to say the least.
Staff at the Center have taken matters into their own hands – literally – by knitting jumbo-sized jackets and leggings for their charges to wear. While elephants do have hair, it's generally sparse and restricted to their heads, backs and the tufts on the tips of their tails. Woolly Mammoths they ain't, though no doubt winter weather makes them wish they were!
“It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter,” explained Kartick Satyanarayan, CEO and co-founder of Wildlife SOS, “as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia. The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with.”