During the wee hours of the morning, Felix tried to tip-toe out of the dorm room. He was nearly at the door and – SLAM!! He’d walked into a chair. Immediately, his friends woke up from their deep slumber.
Verum said with a yawn, “Where are you sneaking off to, Felix?”
“Just for a walk,” replied an antsy Felix.
“I don’t believe you one bit,” said Scorch, glaring at her friend, “Out with the truth!”
“Okay,” said Felix, giving up, “I am going to Delhi Zoo in Delhi, the capital city of India. I want to rescue an African elephant called Shankar. Shankar has been living all alone in an enclosure in the zoo.”
Fun fact: African elephants have larger fan-shaped ears as compared to Asian elephants.
“That is super sad,” said Orak, “Elephants are social animals. They form strong bonds with each other while living in herds in the wild.”
“Exactly,” said Felix, “That’s what makes Shankar’s story sad.”
“What happened?” said Verum.
“I want to come along too,” announced Scorch. The Gifted Four set out together.
“Shankar was born in Africa. In 1998, he was sent to India with a companion, Bombai,” narrated Felix, “The two elephants were a diplomatic gift from Zimbabwe to Indian President Shankar Dayal Sharma.
Initially, Shankar and Bombai were content living together at Delhi Zoo. But in 2005, Bombai suddenly passed away. The cause of her death isn’t known. Shankar lived on, alone and lonely. The 26-year-old elephant is kept in a sad enclosure with metal fences. He doesn’t interact with other elephants.”
“Oh, no, poor Shankar,” said Verum.
“Recently, 16-year-old Nikita Dhawan filed a plea with Delhi High Court. The founder of the non-profit Youth For Animals visited the zoo and saw Shankar’s condition. So, she has asked that he be removed from the zoo and rehabilitated in a wildlife sanctuary with other African elephants,” said Felix.
“Felix, I think Dhawan’s petition might just work,” said Verum, peering into her crystal ball, “A United Kingdom-based group called Aspinall has offered to rehabilitate Shankar to a proper location in Africa. The group will bear the costs. Let’s wait and see how it goes, okay?”