We are very sad to announce that after 5 months at Millennium Elephant Foundation, Kandula has returned to Habarana.
He was initially brought to MEF to receive treatment for a slipped disk in his back after too many years using a Howdah (big 6-8 seater chairs for tourists), which has been going very well and seemed to be making improvements to his health. A hot water massage in the morning and a hot oil massage in the afternoon, as well as various medications.
I took over his care when I arrived 2 months ago and have formed a very close relationship with him. Seeing him first thing in the morning and saying hello while he sniffed the air in my direction as a greeting, doing his treatments twice a day, every day, watching him tuck into his evening meals that I brought him (coconut leaves and logs – yum) and getting to give him a good scrub in the river every day.
It came as a shock to us all first thing Monday morning when we saw an elephant removal truck in the car park and were told Kandula was leaving us. We were all incredibly upset to see him go. Myself and another volunteer (Amy) working with Kandula got to give him one last bath in the river, and he came for his morning vet check (vitamin ball and foot brush). As we were giving him a fruit bowl as a goodbye treat, he seemed to cry along with us. Hera, his mahout, was also very emotional – MEF won’t quite feel the same without Kandula loping along trying to eat anything and everything in reach, and Hera walking next to him with his cheeky grin – they will both be sorely missed by all.
Gemma – Volunteer