Elephants are renowned for their intelligence, distinct personalities, and strong familial bonds. However, some elephants are denied the chance to follow their natural instincts and instead are compelled to perform for human entertainment. Allow me to introduce you to Sita and Mia, two circus elephants whose lives exemplify this unfortunate reality. Their journey has been far from easy, marked by decades of suffering and captivity in India, where they were chained to the ground, unable to move freely. Fortunately, the non-profit organization Wildlife S.O.S. embarked on a mission to rescue these two gentle giants, finally granting them the lives they deserved after half a century of hardship. The organization shared the heartwarming story of their rescue on Facebook, and the images speak volumes about the profound impact it had on these elephants.
Upon their discovery, it was painfully evident that both Sita and Mia bore multiple injuries, particularly on their feet. Wildlife S.O.S. described their injuries in a poignant Facebook post, accompanied by heart-wrenching photographs: “Both Mia and Sita have very painful feet. Sita’s situation is further exacerbated by a poorly healed fracture in her front leg, severely limiting her mobility and preventing her from lying down and resting. It has been at least a year since she last lay down to sleep.”
The first step was transporting these elephants to their new home, the Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Mathura, where they could receive the vital veterinary care they needed. The journey was long, but both elephants seemed to sense their newfound freedom. Along the way, Sita even expressed her excitement by playfully waving her trunk at passers-by.
Upon arriving at their new sanctuary, the elephants quickly began adjusting to their surroundings, experiencing a series of remarkable “firsts.” On her very first day in the new environment, Sita entered a pool of water, an experience that the staff believed was a first for her, despite her being over 50 years old. Mia, overwhelmed with contentment and happiness, laid down and fell asleep within minutes of arriving at the center—an act she likely hadn’t been able to enjoy in a long time. The center regarded this as “one of our happiest moments.” “While we can’t pinpoint when Mia last had this opportunity,” the center noted, “it’s evident that she has needed it for a very long time. Daily rest is a fundamental requirement for elephants, often denied to them when they are chained by their front and back legs, as was the case with Mia.”
Since relocating to their new haven, Sita and Mia have displayed unparalleled happiness. They now revel in the freedom to roam the center’s expansive grounds, engage with other elephants, frolic together in the sand, and luxuriate in refreshing swims in the pool. Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, commented on their transformation, stating, “Mia and Sita seem so much happier already. It’s as though they sense they are embarking on a happier life free from the demands of circus performances—a life where their aching and painful joints will receive the rest and care they so rightfully deserve.” After enduring countless years of hardship, we rejoice in the fact that Mia and Sita have found solace in a nurturing environment where they can finally relax and savor life.
Watch Sita enjoying a little walk in the video below.
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Source: Wildlife SOS