DELHI’S LAST ELEPHANT RESCUED IN ALL NIGHT RESCUE
OPERATION BY POLICE, FOREST DEPT AND WILDLIFE SOS
In a 14-hour long rescue operation that started at midnight and went on until 2 PM on Wednesday, Delhi’s last elephant “Lakshmi” was finally rescued and brought to the custody of the Forest Dept. The elephant is set to be transferred to the Elephant Rehabilitation Center in Yamuna Nagar run by Wildlife SOS in collaboration with the Haryana Forest Dept.
The Delhi Police alerted the Chief Wildlife Warden Shri Prabhat Tyagi of the presence of Lakshmi’s mahout lurking around with the elephant suspiciously. The person was detained along with the elephant in Shakarpur Police Station in East Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar. On the request of the Forest Dept, a team from Wildlife SOS arranged a ten-wheel truck to transport the elephant to safety. A team of four well trained elephant handlers and an elephant veterinarian also came from Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation & Care Center in Mathura.
Chief Wildlife Warden of NCT Delhi, Sh. Prabhat Tyagi, IFS and Wildlife Officer Dr. K.S.Jayachandran, IFS coordinated the operation all night with Kartick Satyanarayan and Naresh Kumar of Wildlife SOS.
Just as the team started to attempt to move the elephant to safety, a hostile mob gathered in the offender’s defence and started attacking the rescuers and the wildlife officers as well as disturbing the elephant to prevent it from getting onto the truck.
Additional police reinforcements were sent in by DCP (East) Jasmeet Singh and SHO Shakarpur Shri Sanjeev Kumar to disburse the mob, following which the elephant and the rescue team was escorted to safety of the Forest department premises at ITO. After a chance to rest and drink fresh water, the elephant was cooperative and climbed into the truck. Escorted by a convoy of vehicles from Wildlife SOS, Delhi Forest Department and Delhi Police, the last elephant of Delhi left for her forever home in the jungles of Ban Santour, near the Kalesar National Park where she will join a herd of four elephants housed at the Elephant Rehabilitation Center.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Mr. Jasmeet Singh extended police support and SHO Shakarpur Police Station – Mr. Sanjiv Kumar deployed Police Officers to provide protection to the elephant as well as the rescuers who were constantly under attack by the family of the offenders.