Delhi zoo's lone African elephant responding well to treatment for wound, say officials

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New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Shankar, a 29-year-old elephant, is responding well to treatment and therapy after he was sedated to treat his wound, officials said on Wednesday.

The lone African elephant at the Delhi Zoo, who was brought from Zimbabwe in 1998, was chained for a long period of time that caused wounds on his legs and led to pus formation, according to the source.

Sumit Nagar, the veterinarian treating Shankar, said that his wound has been treated and he will be checked regularly.

Nagar said that pus had formed in his wound, which was treated after sedating Shankar.

In recent days, the elephant was not in a "musth" condition but was behaving aggressively because of the wound, he said.

"This morning, I went there for his wound dressing and will continue frequent check-ups on him. He is fine now, and the chain has been removed," Nagar said.

Zoo director Sanjeet Kumar told PTI that the chain was removed and now Shankar is restrained with a leg strap and rope. He is responding well to treatment and therapy and is taking his feed normally. He remains under observation.

In September 2023, the elephant, Shankar, broke a part of the boundary wall of its enclosure while in a state of musth -- a condition of heightened aggression and unpredictable behaviour in male animals, particularly elephants and camels, associated with a surge in testosterone levels.

The Delhi zoo, meanwhile, has written to the forest and wildlife department on seeking assistance of a veterinary doctor.

The letter to the forest department said, "The National Zoological Park in New Delhi urgently requires the expertise of Dr Sumit Nagar and tranquilisation drugs for the safe immobilisation of our 29-year-old African elephant in musth. Dr Abhijit Bhawal will coordinate with Dr. Nagar for this crucial procedure on July 8, ensuring the elephant's well-being through professional veterinary care." After receiving a letter from the zoo, veterinarian Sumit Nagar visited the Delhi Zoo on Monday and continued visiting to treat Shankar on Tuesday. PTI NSM NB

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