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Wildlife NGO helps elephants and bears to beat the sizzling summer heat

Elephants splash water around to drive away the heat wave at Wildlife SOS's Mathura elephant care centre

The rising mercury levels in India, especially Uttar Pradesh has made wildlife conservation NGO Wildlife SOS make all-out efforts to ensure the elephants and sloth bears under their care are kept cool and beat the sizzling heat.

At its Elephant Conservation & Care Centre and Elephant Hospital Campus situated in Mathura, water pools have been provided in every enclosure for the animals to swim in and cool off while water sprinklers are used to soften the ground and create cool zones inside.

Every morning all the 29 resident elephants are given refreshing scrub baths and allowed complete access to the jumbo pools in their spacious enclosures.

While the mature animals prefer relaxing in the water, the younger and playful ones including Peanut, Coconut, Laxmi and Chanchal enjoy splashing around in the pool or in the river located next to India’s first and only elephant hospital. These animals love taking dust baths and throwing mud on their backs during the day as it acts as natural sunscreen, protecting their skin from sun.

At Wildlife SOS’s Agra Bear Rescue Facility — the world’s largest sloth bear rescue and rehabilitation centre – the inmates are given refreshing summer fruits and popsicles which have delicious pieces of juicy fruits frozen in blocks of ice to help them tide over the heat wave.

Vitamin and electrolyte supplements are included in their daily porridge while drinking water in plenty is made available to keep them hydrated. Coolers too are provided in the individual bear dens to help them beat the heat.

Talking about these efforts, Baiju Raj M.V, NGO’s Director Conservation Projects said: “Wildlife SOS aims to provide the rescued animals in our care a high degree of lifetime veterinary care, enrichment and a high quality of life.”

Sharing his views on the summer management measures, Dr. S. Ilayaraja, the NGO’s Deputy Director Veterinary Services said: “We have provided sufficient shade and adequate water in all the enclosures. Special dietary arrangements have also been made.”

Also read: Searing heat in Delhi-NCR takes a toll on birds