After decades of roaming the streets, a 55-year-old blind elephant, Arya, is finally receiving aid at India’s first and only Elephant Hospital.

Source: Wildlife SOS/Youtube

The elephant hospital, established by Wildlife SOS with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, will treat the ailing elephant with important medical procedures, including laser therapy and hydrotherapy.

“The Elephant Hospital has become a symbol of hope and many elephant owners are contacting the Forest Department for permission to bring their sick elephants to the hospital for veterinary treatment. We are very grateful to the Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttar Pradesh for support and cooperation,” Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO Wildlife SOS said.

Arya spent her life wandering and begging on the streets of a small town in Eastern Uttar Pradesh with little or no access to medical care, food, or water. Elephants are some of the most intelligent creatures on the planet, capable of learning and feeling emotions ranging from joy to grief.

Upon Arya’s arrival at the hospital, veterinary doctors found that she is chronically blind, has damaged footpads and toenails, and suffers from severe arthritis. Doctors suspect that she was blinded in her left eye from a sharp object, possibly an ankus or bull hook which are often used to control elephants by inflicting cruel physical pain. The veterinary assessment found that her right eye lost vision due to severe malnutrition.

“Arya elephant is bilaterally blind, severely malnourished and suffering from acute medical issues. The next few days are very critical and we are conducting health examinations & closely monitoring her progress,” Dr. Ilayaraja, Deputy Director Veterinary Services, Wildlife SOS, said.

Doctors have placed Arya under a carefully calibrated diet to increase her weight while allowing her to her regain strength without affecting her arthritic limbs according to Wildlife SOS.

Source: Wildlife SOS

Although Arya is slightly wary of her new environment, officials at Wildlife SOS, and the elephant hospital report she does not show any signs of nervousness or shyness and beginning to trust staff – her healing journey is just beginning!

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