A PROPER GREETING
The welcoming committee could not have been more enthusiastic, or intuitive, when “one of the girls” had taken it upon her elephant self to wave a banner, one of the many that had been placed along a fence, upon which the word ‘freedom’ was so prominently displayed.
And while it is unknown exactly when this perceptive elephant had selected the ‘freedom flag’ that she held so carefully with her trunk what is obvious is the understanding shown by this sweet rescued elephant (of the true meaning of freedom) and that can never be denied.
After enduring months of anguish, (by both the pachyderm and his rescuers at Wildlife SOS) over the rescue of Mohan the elephant, his day of freedom had finally come. And that freedom, for a 55 year old bull elephant who had been held captive for 50 years, was way overdue. An elephant who was once the elephant that had to be left behind, who was once dubbed “the world’s unluckiest elephant” was now the luckiest elephant of them all.
THE RESCUE OF MOHAN THE ELEPHANT
The following are direct quotations by the founder of Wildlife SOS in India, Kartik Satyanarayan, Rhea Lopez (Elephant Campaign Manager) & other members of his team / associates during a 1 hour webinar; hear details of Mohan’s Rescue here : see facebook post of 10/04/16 explaining the 30 minutes of silence at video’s end.
### First Attempt to Rescue Mohan
“There was a huge mob of over 300 people & it was a shock to us”.
“There wasn’t anything that didn’t go wrong. Everything went wrong. Everything went the way we didn’t want it to go.” “The mob outnumbered the police completely” (and we were advised to leave). “This was easily one of the worst and one of the scariest (rescues) we have ever faced.”
“We already had 6 different court cases (in different courts) just to get this elephant out”
“The judge was very kind and he recognized the deteriorating condition of the elephant; and before this we had actually been battling to get an accurate health certificate for this elephant. But the proper original and genuine certificate that had been issued by doctors, which reflected his correct and accurate health condition, were actually kind of hidden by the people who didn’t want him moved out of there, and replaced with fraudulent certificates. So we had to kind of battle that as well.”
“But when that judge saw that original health certificate that we had submitted he said that the elephant needed to be moved forthwith & actually needed to be taken against the people who had him captive. So that was the turning point for us.”
“So we did not waste any time at all. We managed to get a lot of police support; support from the Chief Minister’s Office of the State to make sure that the law was implemented and the court order was enforced.”
### Second Attempt to Rescue Mohan
“So (the owners) they had actually taken him during the night to a huge swampy area and they tied him to the middle of the swamp (to the tree) and they got him (Mohan) angry and they got him upset and they (the owners ) said ‘see if you can get him out of here now’. And it was quite a nightmare for us… everything happened in the dark.”
(Finally Mohan was walked by his mahout out of the swamp grasses onto road.)
“The owners had managed to get a ‘stay order’ from a local court preventing us from rescuing him and moving him to the Elephant Conservation & Care Center .
“So we couldn’t actually move him out of the district until we got a court order that clarified that we could move him out of that location.”
### Mohan at the “Safe House”
“So that complicated matters so we did the next best thing which was to move him to a safe house (at the Forest Department.) (That lasted for “weeks and weeks”.)
“We actually started to win his (Mohan’s) confidence and his trust when he was with at the safe house.” (And another sympathetic judge helped them to secure Mohan’s release once again.)
”We had to make sure that no one at that location had an inkling that we were going to move Mohan out of that location and that was the critical aspect of this whole operation if you want to be successful in getting elephant out of there.”
### Mohan Finally on His Way in the “Elephant Ambulance”
“ Once Mohan was in the ambulance he was rewarded with fresh bananas and lots of love….& I got my first chance to really take a look at him; he’s thin, that’s the first thing that will strike you and he has a sort of tired sadness in his eyes that can almost break your heart.” (Rhea)
”But he is huge , …Mohan is larger than life in size and in spirit and I found myself in awe of how strong and resilient he seemed in the face of everything Mohan has been through .” (Rhea)
### Mohan is Finally Home ….at Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center
“It was absolutely delightful for all of us to be able to welcome Mohan and give him his brand new enclosure & his pond & access to the life that he truly deserved in every way”.
“One of the other girls at our facility, she had actually picked up one of the freedom flags and she was waving it as if she knew what it meant”..
(Kartik) “We could not believe how forgiving Mohan was.” “He was a walking encyclopedia of health issues.” (Now he is able to enjoy relaxing in the pond.) “He loves his pool time”
To be continued: see The Rescue of Mohan the Elephant: How the “Unluckiest Elephant in the World” Became the Luckiest Elephant of Them All : Part 2
Please donate to Wildlife SOS “Saving India’s Elephants”
Images: Wildlife SOS Facebook at The Daily Mail “Worlds Unluckiest Elephant”…