In a heartfelt tribute to honour elephants that lost their lives due to abuse, illegal trafficking, and cruelty, India gets its first ‘Elephant Memorial’ near Taj Mahal in Agra. It was recently unveiled by the conservation charity Wildlife SOS that built it with support of Uttar Forest Department at the Elephant Conservation & Care Centre, Mathura, which is located 20 mi. away from the Taj Mahal.
The memorial has been built in the memory of those gentle giants who lost their lives while suffering cruelty at the hands of humans. If reports are to be believed, most elephants that are used to take tourists for a ride or are used in circuses are captured from the wild, and are trained or pushed to undergo a lifetime of misery. This unique memorial with stone boulders and engraved black granite plaques names some of those elephants who suffered this fate.
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The memorial was inaugurated recently by K Praveen Rao, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, at a function which was presided over by Anand Kumar, Deputy Conservator of Forests, National Chambal Sanctuary Project.
The memorial has five boulders, each with engraved plaques to pay respect to the spirit of the departed elephants, who lost their lives while suffering from their physical ailments and psychological wounds sustained during brutal training process and in captivity. This memorial has been built to serve as a constant reminder that these giant being belong to the wild and that they must be conserved and protected in the wild. The memorial has been set up with the support of UP forest department.