Indore. The death of loving and popular female elephant Champa housed at the Indore Zoo has not only left its male companion Moti and the Zoo officials saddened, but also many citizens and children of the city.
Champa unexpectedly died due to previously unknown medical reasons at her newly built open cage in Indore’s Zoological Park after High Court order on a PIL filed by animal activist to set the animal free instead of keeping it in shackles.
The elephant duo were brought to the zoo more than two decades back and Champa was aged around forty five, quite young for Asian elephants, according to zoo officials. Elephants, like humans, usually have a life expectancy of around seventy years.
Since last two decades domestication of elephants have become rare in India, limited to a few parts of the country, partly due to increased costs, legal restrictions and urbanization among other factors. The elephants are used for transportation, entertainment and commutation, for example, in jungle safaris or during festivals.
The herbivorous mammal enjoys a special place in Indian society and connects as similarly as cows, camels and horses with kings maintaining martial fleet of elephants in ancient India. Elephants play an important role in festive processions including Republic Day and Elephant God Ganesha is reverred as the one who brings positive things in life.
In that perspective, the death of Champa becomes more significent and raises questions on how these loving animals can be cared and connected with urbanizing human society in a better manner. This is what would be a true homage to Champa by all those who cared so fondly for her.