Grand old lady of Rajaji Park laid to rest

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Hardwar, Oct 3 (UNI) The 75-year-old female elephant, Arundhati, lovingly called 'Grand Old Lady of Rajaji National Park', was laid to rest after she died late last evening in the Chilla range of the Park in Hardwar district.

The director of the park, G S Pandey told UNI a panel of veterinary doctors performed the post mortem of the female jumbo before the burial.

Arundhati, who had taken thousands of tourists on her back for jungle safari since 1981, endeared herself to the forest authorities and wildlife lovers by taming many wild male elephants and by providing motherly affection and care to many calves who had lost their mothers.

The jumbo, afflicted with acute osteoporosis, had been suffering agonising pain since September 20 when she got stuck in a marshy pit in the park.

On the recommendation of a panel of experts and veterinary doctors that the condition of the female elephant was beyond cure and that she was suffering excruciating pain, the chief wildlife warden of the state, Shrikant Chandola granted permission for her mercy killing on September 26.

However, due to protests from a section of wildlife activists the mercy killing did not take place and the female elephant died a natural death.

The forest department sources said a suitable memorial would be built for Arundhati in Chilla range at the spot where she had been buried.


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