18:27 GMT +319 December 2018
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    India Unveils Jumbo Gift for its Elephants: A Hospital

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    India’s ancient city of Agra now has one more reason to be world famous, with India’s first and only elephant hospital in addition to the Taj Mahal.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): A specialised hospital for elephants has been opened in Mathura in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The hospital, spread over 12,000 sq. ft. of land, has an observation area for overnight monitoring of elephants undergoing treatment using CCTV cameras.

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    Established by Wildlife SOS, a non-governmental organization in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, the hospital is equipped with the latest technology and medical facilities designed to treat geriatric, sick and injured elephants, Anil Kumar, divisional commissioner of Agra, told the media.

    The Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center has wireless digital X-ray, laser treatment, dental X-ray, thermal imaging, ultrasonography, hydrotherapy, and a quarantine facility for elephants. It also has a medical hoist for lifting elephants and an indoor treatment enclosure. There is also an observation deck for veterinary students and interns for the learning and observation of the elephant's behaviour.

    For centuries India has used the elephants and abused them. For the first time we can take good care of them and offer them a place to heal," co-founder of Wildlife SOS, Geeta Seshamani, said.

    India's minister for women and child development, Maneka Gandhi, said, "It is a matter of great pride that the welfare and care of India's magnificent heritage animal is finally getting the attention it deserves."

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    In Indian mythology and culture, the elephant is associated with Buddha and the Lord Ganesha, symbolizing power, wisdom, strength and good luck.

    The Indian elephant has been listed as endangered due to loss of habitat and poaching. The estimated population of elephants in India is around 27,785 — 31,368 in wild areas while the total captive population is 3,500. A nationwide elephant conservation project, "Project Elephant," was launched in 1992 to protect the elephants from extinction.

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    elephants, conservation program, hospital, wildlife, Uttar Pradesh, India
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