Champakali, the 50-year-old pet elephant in Jaldapara which played the role of a foster mother to eight calves, has been unwell for the past four days and has stopped taking food.
As a result, two elephant calves which were rescued from south Bengal are not getting milk from Champakali and are surviving on powdered milk.
The vet treating the pet elephant suspects that the animal is suffering from constipation and that is why it is avoiding food.
The elephant, which is in the Holong Central Pilkhana of the Jaldapara sanctuary, has been given saline as well as injections.
“This morning, Champakali was given medicine,” said the vet.
Apart from the two calves, Champakali had fed six other baby elephants. She is the only elephant in the state which fosters calves abandoned by their mothers.
Rajendra Jakhar, the divisional forest officer of Wildlife III, said: “We are really worried about the health of Champakali because she played the role of foster mother to eight calves. We are proud that we have such an elephant that can accept any calf. We are trying our best to cure the elephant and the vet is keeping a close watch.”
Text and picture by our correspondent