In a unique and great initiative, the Rajaji Tiger Reserve has set up a gym for elephants in the Chilla range of the forest. The elephants for whom the gym has been set up for are used for patrolling purposes in the reserve and thus are kept captive, unlike their counterparts.
As elephants are fond of moving, being kept captive could stress them and thus the gym would help them distress.
Amit Varma, director, RTR said, “The gym will provide options of exercise and playfulness which will.keep them more fit and cheerful. The elephants in wild move a lot and get rigorous physical expose than those in captivity.”
The gym, as per Amit, will ensure the six elephants get exercise, remain healthy and cheerful. And surely the affordability they entertain deserves all of it.
Dr. Aditi Sharma, a veterinarian at the reserve said, “Physical movement for elephants is important for their physical and mental health. In this gym, they are made to do various exercises which keep them physically and mentally engaged.”
Among the six elephants, three are grown-ups and the other three are calves.
The gym allows them facilities like mud baths, big pipes with holes in which food is kept for them to search, tyres hanging, which they cal play with and, big hanging balls for adult pachyderms, and small balls for the calves.
As per the census, Uttrakhand has as many as 2026 elephants population of which has increased by 10% over the year. As many as 21 elephants died in the state in 2019. However, no elephant died due to poaching (or poisoning) in 2019.