It all began last year when the women living in villages near the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura joined forces to knit and crochet jumbo sweaters and pajamas for elephants.
When the cold wave struck again this winter, the women came forward to protect the elephants from the chilly air. According to Mail Online, the warmers take months to complete. Workers at Wildlife SOS appealed for help when temperatures dipped to a point where it is cold even for thick skinned elephants.
According to the Times Of India, the Wildlife SOS centre in Mathura is home to around 20 rescued elephants that are either blind or lame or just recuperating after suffering years of abuse. The report mentions that the elephants were rescued from illegal captivity, trafficking mafia, circuses and even street begging operations. The pachyderms have endured decades of abuse, cruelty and harsh conditions, that has taken a toll on them physically and psychologically.
The Hindu quoted Kartick Satyanarayan, CEO of Wildlife SOS, as saying, "It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse, making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia. The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with."
Not just sweaters and pajamas, the rescued elephants are also provided with a nutritious diet and proper veterinary care. According to Mail Online, Satyanarayan has ambitious plans to rescue another 50 elephants this year.