Thanks to some compassionate craftspeople, the rescue elephants living at the Wildlife SOS Conservation and Care Center in Mathura, India have been extra cozy during a recent bout of cold weather. In order to keep the pachyderms—who, prior to taking up residence at the sanctuary, tragically suffered neglect, abuse, and exploitation—happy and healthy, the villagers have dedicated their time to knitting colorful and colossal elephant sweaters.
As temperatures began to drop, the good samaritans quickly got to knitting the pajama-like ponchos and onesies. As one can imagine, crafting each giant getup is no small feat. Producing just one sweater can take up to 4 weeks! So far, 3 of the care center’s 23 rescue elephants have received sweaters of their own and, while temperatures have fortunately started to heat up, the knitters are busy at work to have all elephants warm and snug by next winter. In the meantime, those without new knitwear have been given standard blankets that also get the job done—just not as stylishly.
In addition to keeping the gentle giants comfortable, the Technicolor coats are also vital to the delicate creatures’ health and well-being. “It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia,” SOS cofounder Kartick Satyanarayan explained in a release. “The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with.” It is heartwarming to know that these lovely elephants are finally getting the care they deserve.
To find out how you can get involved with Wildlife SOS and the amazing work that they do, take a peek at their website.
To craft the elephant sweaters, the knitters often work on-site.
…And with an eager audience!
When the cozy creations are complete, the elephants are happy to be dressed.
Though some will have to wait for a colorful get-up, Wildlife SOS never leaves them out in the cold.
All images via Roger Allen unless otherwise stated.
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