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Karnataka to throw open first elephant care centre for visitors

Representational image. Karnataka's first elephant care centre will opened up for visitors soon (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/ @Ecology4UPSC)

With the idea of making people close to animals, especially elephants, Karnataka’s first ever exclusive elephant care centre will soon be thrown open to visitors.

The Centre located in Kajikallahalli village which is near Kolar, is spread over 25 acres of area in Lakshmisagar reserve forest was started in August this year at a cost of Rs.1.5 crore. At present it has four female jumbos who have come from Karnataka, Tamil, Kerala and Goa. While three are undergoing treatment for injuries, swollen legs and diabetes, the fourth one has diabetes.

It has been set up by the Forest Department in collaboration with Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, a Bengaluru-based NGO and will take care of injured, aged, diseased and destitute elephants.

The diseased and injured animals will be provided not only medical attention but also provided an environment to enable them to heal fast.

Obesity and diabetes are generally found among the temple and camp elephants and the reason for that is limited physical activity and diet and because of this they take a long time to heal when injured.

At the Centre each elephant is provided a specific diet and exercise as per the advice of the veterinarians. They are bathed twice a day and fed paddy, ragi, fruits and green grass. A modern kitchen has been set up to prepare their meals.

While there are open spaces for the animals to gather called corrals, separate enclosures for each of them also have been created. Besides there are recreation and shower areas, walking areas and medical rooms. Apart from open spaces, closed ones have also been made to protect them from rain and sun.

To make the place environment-friendly, sustainable and waste recycling units are being set up.

While at present the premises has the capacity to house eight elephants, the Forest Department is working to expand the facility and accommodate more animals while also allowing a portion of it open to visitors to feed and interact with them.