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Updated: June 10, 2010 20:50 IST

Captive elephant nursed back to health

Staff Reporter
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The bull elephant Jaganathan being
discharged from the Government Veterinary Hospital at Kottiyam near
Kollam..
The bull elephant Jaganathan being discharged from the Government Veterinary Hospital at Kottiyam near Kollam..

A 50-year-old captive elephant, Jaganathan, was on Thursday discharged from the Veterinary Hospital at Kottiyam, near Kollam, after a month-and-a-half of treatment for major abscess on its hindquarters.

B. Aravind, veterinary surgeon and captive elephant management expert who nursed the elephant back to health, said the abscess had shrunk to one-tenth of its size.

Owing to the festering growth on its hip for over the last two years, the elephant was considered inauspicious to take part in temple festivals and shows. Though it was given treatment intermittently, the disease began to show symptoms of deteriorating into multiple abscesses. It was at this stage that Dr. Aravind suggested that the elephant be shifted to the veterinary hospital where it could be administered 'in-patient treatment'. Jaganathan was admitted to the hospital on April 28.

A canopy of shade trees on the two-acre hospital complex was identified as the 'ward' for the tusker. The treatment was decided after haematological examination and the elephant was administered antibiotics.

Dr. Aravind said as the abscess dwindled in size there was improvement in the elephant's health. At the time of discharge, it was moving into musth. It is a good sign, as only healthy elephants go into musth condition, said Dr. Aravind. It will also ensure three months rest for Jaganathan to recuperate.

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