Lakhi the elephant spent the last 60 years of her life working as a begging prop at popular tourist areas in India. Chained and beaten by her owners, Lakhi was forced to walk on harsh concrete streets without breaks, and traverse through busy traffics. After years of this abuse, Lakhi is blind, likely the result of a traumatic injury to the head and suffers from chronic painful foot problems. Yet, in spite of her deteriorating physical health, her owners continued to make her work.
Luckily, Lahki’s retirement has finally arrived! Seeing the sad state of this elderly elephant, the Pune High Court ruled that Lahki should be sent to the Wildlife SOS Center in Mathura.
Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS said, “We are grateful to the Honorable Pune High Court and the Chief Wildlife Wardens of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra for sympathetically understanding Lakhi’s medical condition and permitting Wildlife SOS to shift her for long-term medical care.”
It has taken months for Wildlife SOS and a number of Pune-based elephant organizations to arrange for Lakhi’s transport to her new home, but she is finally on the road to the sanctuary!
When she arrives at Wildlife SOS she will be given all the proper medical treatment that she has been deprived of for the past 60 years. This will also be the first time that she has been fed a diet truly suited for an elephant. She is currently being “pampered” with mountains of fresh fruits and buckets of water aboard the Wildlife SOS rescue truck.
We could not be more thrilled to see Lahki finally get the chance to lead a life she has always deserved. At the sanctuary, she will join the ranks of other rescued elephants such as Raju, Suzy and Asha. Together, this rag-tag herd is showing the world the true meaning of resilience.
Enjoy your new home, Lahki!
All image source: Wildlife SOS