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Rescued elephants fitted with giant, colorful sweaters at India sanctuary

By
Ben Hooper
An elephant at an Indian sanctuary sports a colorful sweater. Screenshot: ABC News
An elephant at an Indian sanctuary sports a colorful sweater. Screenshot: ABC News

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A wildlife conservation group in India unveiled giant-sized sweaters volunteers created for elephants to wear during cold weather.

Wildlife SOS said three of the elephants at its Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Mathura were fitted with the large, colorful sweaters to help them stay warm during recent cold weather.

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The center said many of its 20 rescued elephants are healing from injuries sustained before they were rescued.

"Rescued from illegal captivity, trafficking mafia, exploited for street begging and circuses where they were abused and subjected to extreme cruelty and decades of suffering, each of these gentle giants have had tragic pasts," Wildlife SOS told ABC News. "These majestic creatures are adjusting to a life of dignity, freedom and peace, in a place where they can spend their days happily, with frequent baths, a nutritious diet, and good veterinary care."

Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, said the winter has been colder than usual, putting the elderly and ailing elephants at extra risk.

"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. The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with," Satyanarayan told the Times of India.

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Satyanarayan said it took about four weeks for the volunteers to knit each jumbo sweater.

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