Phool Kali (Lakshmi) "Blooming Flower"May 2012
Age: Around 45 to 50 years old
Lakshmi has spent most of her life in chains. Our intelligence reports confirm that she is severely underweight, bony and on the verge of collapsing as her owner does not seem to rest her at all!
She is used extensively for giving tourists joy rides. Lakshmi has been nothing but a money making machine for her owner, for decades and he is now angry that she is unable to work harder to earn him more. He does not want to feed her as much as he needs to keep her healthy because he figures she is won' t be able to earn as much if she eats a lot
Lakshmi has extensive scars and wounds on her legs from being tightly chained. Her bony frame and wounds on her back are caused by the heavy metal tourist seats poking into her frail frame that leave her in pain. We suspect partial blindness in one eye. To add to all her misery are hundreds of bruises, cuts, scars, injuries and infections on her feet, foot pads and all over her body that need veterinary attention immediately. Her owner does not have time for this as he is too busy forcing her to work, to earn money! It is one ride after another, till it becomes dark and the mahout has to go home, only then is she is allowed any respite! We have to help Lakshmi break free!
Dearest HSI Team
We have great news for you!
After weeks of hot pursuit, nerve wracking moments, and several sleepless nights, we have finally rescued Lakshmi Elephant. She arrived safely at our center yesterday.
She is a nervous wreck and completely bony, with one severely damaged eye. I am enclosing one photo of her with Dr Yaduraj. More photos will follow soon.
The procedures and paperwork that helps us finalise and close the deal are still happening, so we will soon give you more details. We learnt that Lakshmi has a pet name called "Phool-kali" meaning "blooming flower." Of course she looks more like a drooping flower ready to drop from exhaustion at the moment. We are hopeful we can turn her into a budding flower with the generous support that you and your supporters help us with.
This girl drove us all crazy as she decided to go off for a stroll at midnight in the middle of her rescue operation and that took our teams chasing and tracking her all night until about 5 AM to locate her, after wading through a shallow river and walking through kilometers of crop fields. She is certainly very mischievous and has a strong personality. We know this also because she decided to go into a pool and refused to budge or emerge for over six hours, spraying the mahouts with trumpet fulls of water jets when they would try to get her out!! The mahouts want a week's rest to recover from this rescue operation.....!! :-)
We currently have a team chasing the other elephant and suspect this rescue may take a few weeks as well.
More updates and photos soon.
Love and Trumpets from Phool-kali, Geeta and the tired WSOS team!
You can read more about our Agra Elephants here