Two circus elephants named Sita and Mia spent 50 years in captivity, living their entire lives in chains. But thanks to Wildlife SOS, the two elephants have been rescued and are experiencing their first freedom at an elephant sanctuary in India.
After years of being confined to chains the two elephants’ feet were in poor shape. “Both Mia and Sita have very painful feet. For Sita, her situation is exacerbated by the fact that she has a poorly healed fracture in her front leg that has limited her movement… thus preventing her the ability to lie down and rest,” writes Wildlife S.O.S on Facebook. We know it has been at least a year since she has lay down and slept.”
The two will be tended to by expert veterinarians and get some much needed therapy on their feet. This will include “warm foot soaks, swimming, exercise on natural soft surfaces, medicine, a specialized diet and lots of rest”.
Soon, the two elephants made a long journey by truck to get to their new home. Wildlife S.O.S. was concerned about how well Sita was going to tolerate the long journey, but she surprised them. Along the way, Sita showed her excitement by waving her trunk happily to people passing by from the truck.
After a journey of 1,200 miles, the two elephants finally arrived at the Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Mathura.
It sure looks like they are smiling during their first few steps, chain-free.
Sita entered a pool of water for the very first time on her first day at her new home. “Although she is now over 50, we believe this was her first time ever getting to swim,” the organization says.
And Mia lay down, something she had not done in a a very long time. “This picture shows one of our happiest moments. Shortly after arriving at the rescue center, Mia lay down and went into a deep sleep,” Wildlife S.O.S. writes.
“While we don’t know when exactly Mia was last allowed to do this, it’s clear that this is something she has needed to do for a long time. Daily rest is essential for an elephant, but very often they are deprived of this necessity when they are chained on the front and back legs. This was the case with Mia.”
The two elephants are loving their newfound freedom. They are happily sharing a dust bath together….
Meeting other elephants…
And enjoying tasty treats. It must be like heaven to them.
“Mia and Sita seem so much happier already,” Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said in a press release. “It’s almost like they sense they are going to get a happier life where they will not be forced to perform in circuses anymore – a life where their aching and painful joints will get the rest and the care they deserve.”
If you are interested in learning more about Wildlife S.O.S. and helping them care for Mia, Sita and the other rescue elephants at their sanctuary, visit their website.
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