Kerala

Hospital for elephants likely

The Asian Elephant Inpatient Hospital and Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, a dream project of Thrissur, may soon be a reality.

The Forest Department, on a directive from the Centre, will convene a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the scope and need of the hospital on Saturday. A project proposal has been submitted to Project Elephant under the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change.

There are nearly 500 captive elephants in the State at present. Even though many field veterinarians offer support across the State, there is no centralised healthcare support system.

According to the project proposal, the objective of the hospital is to provide specialist healthcare to captive elephants in Kerala and also in the other south Indian States.

It envisages a state-of-the-art hospital with facilities to provide treatment for 10 elephants for chronic diseases such as foot rot and impaction of digestive tract. A modern diagnostic laboratory to support veterinarians in early diagnosis of elephant specific diseases will also be set up.

The hospital will provide hands-on training to veterinarians and internship for students on elephant specific issues, rescue operations, and post-mortem examinations. It also aims at undertaking research on various healthcare issues of captive elephants.

Thrissur is an ideal place to set up such a hospital as the district has the maximum number of captive elephant in Kerala, P.B. Giridas, an elephant expert, said.

As per the proposal, the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University campus at Mannuthy is suited for the hospital. A five-acre plot on the campus is sufficient for building elephant housing enclosures and associated office.

The premises of the former district veterinary centre at Thiruvambady belonging to the Animal Husbandry Department is ideal for the diagnostic laboratory, the proposal says.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 12:37:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hospital-for-elephants-likely/article7360172.ece

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