Elephants rescued from circuses and temples in India are treated to a feast of their favorite fruits and vegetables to celebrate World Elephant Day. A large amount of watermelons, bananas, papayas and pumpkins was laid out for the Asian elephants at a sanctuary near the banks of the Yamuna River.
According to conservationists from Wildlife SOS, which operates the sanctuary, most of the 28 elephants at the centre suffer from chronic illnesses and various ailments, the result of years of abuse in captivity.
"World Elephant Day is there to promote awareness about the plight of elephants in India and around the world, and what they actually go through and why their population is declining," Ms Shirina Sawhney from Wildlife SOS, which also runs India's only elephant hospital, told straitstimes.com.
Elephants are an important part of Indian culture and are often seen during festivals and processions in the country's south. They are also used in the north and west as tourist attractions at several forts and palaces.