Dudhwa (Lakhimpur-Kheri) (U.P), Sep.24 : Not many may know that Dudhwa National Park holds a unique position for according pension and other emoluments to its elephants for rendering service to tourists and patrolling.
These elephants belong to the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department at the Dudhwa National Park located in Lakhimpuri Kheri region of the State. And, after retirement from their official duties, these jumbos avail free medical treatment, pension and an attendant.
"As government officials get retired and get pension, the system is the same for the elephants. When they (elephants) grow old, we take less work from them and they are given proper care as they are getting at present. The system remains the same. In a way, you can call it as a pension, after retirement they are getting pension," said P.P. Singh, Director of the Dhudwa National Park.
Idris Khan, working as mahout since 1972 at the Dudhwa National Park, said that the elephants were given proper food and a proper care in the park.
"They (elephant) get five kilograms of flour, 200 grams salt, 500 grams jaggery and two quintals of sugarcane per day for two months in a year as their food allowances. They also get Peepal, banyan, hibiscus and grass in fodder," said Idris Khan, a mahout.
There are presently six elephants in the Dudhwa National Park, five of them adult and one minor.
Dudhwa National Park is the only national park in Asia, where rhino rehabilitation programme is being carried out.
This park in Uttar Pradesh holds significance due to its flora, fauna and ecological spread out.
The park encompasses the forests in the northern range of Lakhimpur Khen with abundant wildlife species. These include the tiger, panther, sambhar, swamp deer, spotted deer, barking deer, wild bear, sloth bear, crocodile, jackal, elephant, hyena, porcupine, hare besides 400 species of birds and various reptiles. y Kamna Mathur