Sunday, May 04, 2008

Indian elephants to be pampered under old-age retirement plan! Cool!

Adorned with gold, and carrying a Hindu deity on his broad back, Babu the elephant plays a central role in religious ceremonies across the Indian state of Kerala.

Now aged 45, he is approaching retirement after a hard working life - and, like many of the 650 working elephants in the state, there have always been fears for his future.

Elephants cost £340 a month to maintain, a great expense when the average monthly wage is only £50, and many owners cannot afford to look after their beasts when they finally stop working.

But help is at hand. India's first retirement home for elderly elephants opens next month inside a tranquil forest at Kottur, outside the state capital Trivandrum, where the colossal beasts can spend their twilight years in dignity. More...

See also: An elephant painting ... an elephant! Amazing!

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