India's oldest domestic elephant dies at 89
Many people who have been associated with Bijuli Prasad such as animal lovers, tea garden workers as well as locals gathered to mourn the death of the pachyderm
India's oldest domestic Asiatic elephant died on Monday at the age of 89 in Sonitpur district of Assam, officials said.
The majestic jumbo, named Bijuli Prasad, breathed his last at the Behali tea estate of The Williamson Magor Group around 3.30 am due to age-related issues, they said.
Many people who have been associated with Bijuli Prasad such as animal lovers, tea garden workers as well as locals gathered to mourn the death of the pachyderm.
"Bijuli Prasad was a symbol of pride for The Williamson Magor Group. It was first brought to the Bargang tea estate as a calf, and later shifted here after the Bargang tea estate was sold off by the company," an official of the tea garden said.
The elephant, whose age is estimated to be 89 years, was leading a royal life in the tea estate post-retirement, he said.
Padma Shri awardee and famous elephant surgeon Dr Kushal Konwar Sarma told PTI, "As far as my knowledge is concerned, Bijuli Prasad was the oldest recorded domestic elephant in India." Usually, the wild Asiatic elephants live up to 62-65 years, while the domestic ones survive till around 80 years with proper care, he said.
"After all its teeth fell off around 8-10 years ago, Bijuli Prasad could not eat anything and was about to die. Then I went there and treated him. I had changed all his regular food and started mostly boiled food like rice and soybean with high protein value. This increased his longevity," Sarma said.
An official of the Behali tea estate said that the elephant was offered around 25 kg of food every day.
Published: 21 Aug 2023, 3:08 PM