I’m back from Bardia. What an adventure!
It was a 10-hour drive through mountains on rough roads. The 19-year-old driver of our rental truck scared the daylights out of all of us with his speeding, passing trucks on blind curves and nearly missing oncoming vehicles. Oh man — it was a stressful ten hours!
But our foot trimming program was a grand success. We had a fabulous trimming team: Dr. Gairhe; Kiran the vet tech; Hira, Kirti Kali’s phanet (head mahout) from the NTNC hattisar; and I.
Our students included Chantelle, our intern; Surajan, a new friend and translator; and the vet tech from Bardia.
In two short days we trimmed the feet of 24 government and privately owned elephants.
Honestly, the condition of the privately owned elephant’s feet was criminal, similar to the privately owned elephants in Chitwan. Their pads were dry, cracked and severely overgrown. The nails were equally as dry and overgrown and many had splits and deep cracks.
I am always shocked to see how poorly the privately owned elephants are kept, especially since they are the breadwinners for their owners.
The good news is that 24 more elephants received pedicures and their mahouts were introduced to foot care. With time things can change for these over-used, abused and neglected elephants…I hope.
A huge thank-you goes out to the trimming team. Without their enthusiasm and hard work we could not have accomplished our goal to provide foot care for elephants in Bardia!
You can make a difference in the life of a captive elephant by supporting our Foot Trimming Program. Thanks for your help.