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Home > Lifestyle News > Nature And Wildlife News > Article > Female elephant Phoolkali celebrates 12 years of freedom from forced begging in UP streets

Female elephant Phoolkali celebrates 12 years of freedom from forced begging in UP streets

Updated on: 20 May,2024 02:33 PM IST  |  Agra
IANS |

Having endured over five decades of cruelty and torment while being forced to navigate the harsh realities of life as a street beggar in Uttar Pradesh, Phoolkali's journey was fraught with suffering and abuse before she was rescued

Female elephant Phoolkali celebrates 12 years of freedom from forced begging in UP streets

Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

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Rescued from the grips of a harrowing existence spent begging on the unforgiving streets, Phoolkali – a resilient female elephant - found freedom in 2012.


The conservation NGO Wildlife SOS swooped in as her saviour, whisking her away to the safety of the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC) in Mathura, where she has now revelled in 12 years of newfound freedom.


Having endured over five decades of cruelty and torment while being forced to navigate the harsh realities of life as a street beggar in Uttar Pradesh, Phoolkali's journey was fraught with suffering and abuse.


The relentless trudging along scorching tarred roads led to agonising foot ailments for the majestic pachyderm, including painful toenail abscesses, torn footpads, and festering wounds.

By the time Wildlife SOS and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department intervened and plucked her from her misery, Phoolkali bore the physical scars of her traumatic past, with a protruding spine and palpable signs of malnutrition and dehydration.

However, with her arrival at ECCC came a glimmer of hope and a chance at redemption. The dedicated veterinary team and elephant caretakers at the NGO poured their hearts into nurturing Phoolkali back to health, gradually erasing the vestiges of her painful past and imbuing her life with comfort and care.

Since her arrival, Phoolkali's life changed for the better as the NGO's veterinary team and the elephant care staff gradually healed her and made her feel comfortable.

With medicated foot baths, toenail trimming sessions, relaxing hydrotherapy sessions, and a nutritious diet, her health saw remarkable recovery.

Her mental well-being also improved as the 67-year-old elephant found companions in female resident elephants Emma and Maya.

Ilayaraja S, deputy director- Veterinary Services, Wildlife SOS commented, "The trio has grown inseparable, and Emma and Maya's company has played a crucial role in Phoolkali's healing journey. The three go on their daily walks together and it makes for an amazing sight at our facility."

Today, Phoolkali is a completely different elephant who loves to explore the vast fields of the Wildlife SOS centre and forage in the natural vegetation.

In order to mark her 12th year of rescue, the team at Wildlife SOS prepared a fruit feast for Phoolkali. The lavish spread consisted of watermelons, pumpkins, and bananas, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the delightful trio of Phoolkali, Maya, and Emma.

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