Image by Paolo Camera via Flickr
Baby Elephant Dwarka Prasad:
Dwarkaprasad is a month-old Baby Elephant rescued by local people from drowning in the flooded Dwarkanad river of Bankura District in West Bengal. The baby elephant had slipped it’s trunk from his mother’s tail-hold and fallen into the swollen river while fleeing the floods along with a herd of 35-elephants from the Dolma Hills nearby. Efforts by the local people and Forest Rangers to unite the baby with the herd failed as the herd leader, a Bull Elephant and the mother rejected the baby as it smelt of human beings! Such “inhuman behaviour” of wild elephants have always baffled human beings, particularly Wild Life Scientists.
Baby Elephant Gets Step Mother:
Handling a one-month old baby which has been separated from the parent herd is very risky as it refuses food and is always restless. As expected the baby elephant rejected all attempts to feed him bottled milk, pacing restlessly all around. Finally, the forest officials transported Dwarka to the Jaldapara Wild Life Sancuary and led him to a Kunki (Domesticated Trainer Elephant) mother already having a five-month female baby elephant. The 55-year old Champakali gladly accepted Dwarka, pulling him along side with her trunk. After a little hesitation Dwarka was seen suckling milk from step-mom’s teats. Dwarka is now seen playing around with elder sister, and it is expected he may improve his health in a few days. Incidentally, Champakali has played foster mother to several such rejected baby elephants like Tithi, Torsa and Balasunder. Along with six of her own calves she manages her family really well. Must be a proud Matron of sorts in the elephant world which has such peculiar God-made natural laws of rejection and acceptance.
Lets hope that Dwarka Prasad pulls through with lots of help from Champakali and the domesticated Kunki family. The next 7-days are crucial for the baby elephant. Because of the Indian Elephant God, Lord Ganesha who is considered to be the son of Lord Shiva, and the harbinger of Prosperity, Wealth and happiness, Indians love and respect their elephants. Long live Dwarka Prasad!