Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 20:
Lovingly called Mama she is the apple of the eye at Nandankanan Zoo and now the baby of the house at Centre for Wildlife Health College of Veterinary Science, OUAT in Bhubaneswar.
Three month old baby elephant Mama, was born on January 10 this year in M. Rampur block of Kalahandi district and was rescued by the forest department people on January 20. Unfortunately she was abandoned by the herd for some unknown reason and could not get the first milk from her mother which is very important as it protects the infant against diseases. Just ten days old and suffering from malnutrition she was shifted to Nandankanan Zoological Park where she was nurtured and was lovingly named “Mama”.
“Last month she was brought to the Center for treatment of diarrhea,” said Dr Niranjan Sahoo, Professor & Head of Preventive Medicines – cum- coordinator Center for Wildlife Health.“She weighed 71 kg before the onset of the diarrhea and came down to 61 kg which was worrisome.But now she is slowly gaining weight and is 67.3 kg,” he added.
With the monitoring by experts from Pathology, Parasitology, Nutrition and Medicine departments, Mama is slowly recuperating. Her diet of Lactogen milk in a ratio of 10:8 (water and Lactogen) in three to four hour intervals has been changed to Zero Lactogen . The room is monitored with CCTV’s and the roof has been painted with white paint treatment to protect from the heat. Gunny bags and straw are spread out so that she is comfortable while sleeping. Shyam Singh & Saroj Mohanty (staff of Nandankanan Zoological Park) and Nilamadhav Panda (staff, Centre for Wildlife Health) are taking care of this bundle of joy.
“I massage her every alternate day with AD oil and bathe her in four buckets of water regularly,” said Shyam Singh . “The moment we open the door in the morning she toddles off and takes a roll in the field and comes back covered in dust. She loves pushing a plastic chair all around the room and plays football with a coconut,” he smiles.
She is brushed by her keeper everyday so that her blood circulation stays normal and Mama just loves it. With her small trunk she keeps touching the keeper’s face and arms as if silently thanking him.She will be shifted to Nandankanan Zoological Park once her health is completely fine.