Shoes come in different shapes and sizes, but this jumbo-sized pair, literally made for an elephant, was meant to achieve a special purpose: they will help Lakshmi, a 57-year-old 2.7 tonne female elephant, walk again.
The pachyderm from Palani, which has been brought to the elephant care centre of the Animal Care Trust (ACT) in Rajapalayam in June, had multiple wounds on the feet.
Veterinarian P Ramachandran, who is treating Lakshmi ,said that due to its injuries the elephant took 15 minutes to cover 30 metres when she was unloaded from a truck in front of the elephant care centre in Rajapalayam.
When Lakshmi was brought to the centre, she weighed 2.4 tonnes. But after receiving treatment for about five months, she gained more than 300kg and now weighs 2.7 tonnes.
Every morning the jumbo’s wounds are cleaned before treating it with medicines. Then the wounds are covered with gauze cloth.Once this is done, the shoes are put on the hind legs. Both the shoes are removed after eight hours, as they are meant to bind the medicines with the wound to facilitate swift healing.This treatment has to be continued for the next one year. Only then the elephant will be able to walk normally , Ramachandran said.
The idea of designing the shoes for the hind legs was mooted by ACT founder S D Selvaram Raja and it took nearly a month to make the pair. “We made three models before finalising the suitable one, which is now being used by Lakshmi,” Selvaram Raja said. The soles of the shoes are made of hard rubber. The next layer was nylon rubber, which is used in conveyor belts. In order to provide a cushioning effect, a soft rubber was put as a top layer. On the sides, in order to provide grip, canvas cloth was covered around the shoes. Each shoe has a circumference of 4.7 feet and the length is 1.4 feet. Each shoe weighs more than 5 kg.
Credits : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Elephant-with-wounds-on-feet-gets-pair-of-shoes/articleshowprint/55381941.cms