Imagine being blindfolded and forcibly made to cross a busy street at gun point! This is what the female elephant Lakhi has been subjected to all her life. Beaten and chained all her life, she was on the verge of collapse when the court intervened and granted her freedom.
In one of the most horrific cruelty cases witnessed in elephant abuse, Lakhi the elephant was blinded by her cruel owners & handlers and then forced to beg at various temples and small towns to earn money for her owners.
Lakhi had been exploited as a ‘begging & performing elephant’, a condition likely caused by constant abuse by her handlers. Her blindness put her at serious and continuous risk of road accidents if not guided properly. Mishandled, beaten and whipped all her life, she has several injuries and wounds on her chest, forehead, ears and back. A painful swelling on the left temporal region, which is clearly visible, speaks of the torture she has undergone.
After enduring decades of abuse and neglect, the 60 year old Lakhi has been finally rescued. On 26th February, 2015, elephant was gently encouraged to walk into a special ten wheel truck that was hired for this very purpose and start her final journey to her new home.
The Wildlife SOS team will be bringing ophthalmology experts from the UK to explore the possibility of restoring vision in at least one of her eyes. This will improve her welfare considerably.
It is doubtful that she has ever even tasted food appropriate for an elephant.
Lakhi has chronic, painful injuries that have never received proper medical treatment. Adding to her pain and discomfort were the spiked chains kept consistently around her feet, which led to puncture and abrasion injuries.
She has reached her new home Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Mathura where she will live her life with dignity and peace.
During the journey to Lakhi’s new home, the team decided to stop for a break and let her out of the truck to walk and stretch a little!