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Veterinarians pull out all the stops to save temple elephant

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TAKEN ILL: `Angayarkanni,' an elephant of the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, being treated in Madurai on Wednesday. PHOTO: S. JAMES
TAKEN ILL: `Angayarkanni,' an elephant of the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, being treated in Madurai on Wednesday. PHOTO: S. JAMES

Staff Reporter

Tentative diagnosis reveals it may be suffering from kidney, liver ailments

MADURAI: Veterinarians are battling to save `Angayarkanni,' a 41-year-old female elephant of the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, which took ill on Tuesday.

The elephant, which has served the temple for over three decades, is lying on its side for the last two days and not eating properly. It has been suffering from arthritis for the last 10 years and is suspected to have been afflicted with anchylosis of the forelimbs and foot rot.

A mechanised crane has been deployed to help the elephant to her feet, as lying continuously will hinder blood flow.

Regimen

R. Jonat, veterinary surgeon, said strong antibiotics were being administered along with continuous fluid therapy and anti-inflammatory injections. Tentative diagnosis revealed that it might be suffering from kidney and liver problems. "Blood, urine and other tissue samples have been obtained by the animal disease intelligence unit and sent to a laboratory in Chennai."

Almost every 15 minutes, a 500-ml bottle of dextrose normal saline is being administered to the elephant. Its temperature and heartbeat are being monitored. K.C. Panickar, a retired veterinary professor, has been giving instructions from Calicut.

G. Namasivayam, Regional Joint Director, Department of Animal Husbandry, said: "She has responded positively to the treatment so far. Dr. Panickar will be here on Thursday as also a team from the Madras Veterinary College."The temple management has deputed 10 of its employees to assist the doctors.

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