Kerala Launches India’s First Ambulance Service for Elephants

In a first, Kerala’s Forest Department has started an ambulance service for elephants.

A special vehicle had to be designed for carrying these jumbo animals in North Kerala at the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary which is paradise of wild animals in North Kerala.

The ambulance will be used mainly for the transportation of injured and sedated elephants for their translocation during emergencies and to ferry ‘kumkis’ (domesticated elephants) from other places.

The ambulance, which is animal-friendly, has facilities like a water tank that has capacity to hold 1,000 litres of water, cranes and ropes to lift the animals. The vehicle costs Rs 20 lakh.

P Dhanesh Kumar, WWS wildlife warden, said:

“There is also special system in the vehicle to restrict mobility of jumbos. In the past, we had to use wooden poles to restrict their movements. The vehicle has also facilities to store food and medicines for the animal.”

Officials mentioned that there are times when wild elephants create havoc for human beings.

“During such times, the accepted norm is to use trained captive elephants (kunki elephant squad) and drive the wild elephants back into the forests,” added Neroth.

Wayanad borders have faced frequent problems of wild elephants entering human being domain.

“We can easily bring domesticated elephants in this vehicle to drive away wild elephants which stray into human settlements and play havoc,” said Dhanesh Kumar.

The Wayanad wildlife Sanctuary has 45 species of mammals and 203 species of bird. Out of the bird species, 10 are endemics, six range restricted and five globally threatened species.

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