Oldest female elephant 'Vatsala' injured

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Panna, MP, Feb 7 (UNI) The oldest female elephant in the world, 'Vatsala', has been injured in an attack by a 'mast' male elephant in the Panna National Park.

'Vatsala (91)' was attacked by tusker 'Rambahadur (45)' when she was roaming about three km away from Hinauta gate area on February 3. She received injuries in her chest from the tooth of 'Rambahadur'. The female pachyderm was receiving treatment from veterinary doctors and wildlife experts since the past four days.

Park veterinary doctor S K Gupta said elephant experts from the US, Sri Lanka and the UK were being consulted for providing treatment to 'Vatsala'. Experts from Mysore and Assam were being called.

'Rambahadur' had attacked and seriously injured 'Vatsala' previously on December 12, 2003. 'Vatsala's' intestines had started bulging out following the deadly assault and it appeared she would die soon. However, she recovered and was later recognised as the oldest elephant in the world on January 26, 2007.

''Up to 2004, it was believed that the oldest female elephant -- of age 84 years -- was in Thailand. However, when life history of 'Vatsala' was traced by park officials they found her age was 91.

Since then, 'Vatsala' became a centre of attraction for tourists,'' Dr Gupta said.

'Vatsala' was brought to Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh from Neelambur forests in Kerala on 1971. She has been residing in the park since 1993.

UNI XC-PS 1349

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