Kajalkali’s death intensifies debates on the fate of rescued animals

Kajalkali died due to neglect say activists.

Chitwan, June 27

Kajalkali, an elephant which had collapsed for the third time, died at Chitwan’s Hotel Paradise on Sunday.

The hotel’s owner, Shri Lal Pariyar, who had been looking after the ill elephant, said she died on Sunday at 3.40 pm.

The elephant was buried in the place she breathed her last as per Hindu tradition, informed Pariyar.

National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) veterinarian, Kiran Raj Rijal, had constantly come to monitor the elephant’s situation. He said that she had not been eating well for the past eight days and was always laying down.

“She tried to drink water using her trunks, but she couldn’t drink it. She didn’t eat anything and was very weak,” says Rijal, adding the veterinarians did not find anything when they did her post-mortem.

Rijal says Kajalkali died because of old age, a lack of proper care and weakness.

Kajalkali was bought from India around five years ago. But, following the pandemic, she had been sold by her owner to someone in India. But, since the government has banned the illegal cross-border sale of Nepal’s captive elephants, the animal and the person taking it to India were sent back by the police twice.

Animal rights activists had been calling for the NTNC to help her but citing the lack of funds, no one from the NTNC or the government helped the ailing elephant during her last stage.

Activists say the miserable death of Kajalkali will further intensify the ongoing debates on the fate of such rescued animals.

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