Indian elephant heartbroken after partner’s death

Published: July 31, 2014
India pachydermal love story

File: Two Asian elephants at Taronga Zoo frolic in their new water pool in Sydney, Australia, Monday April 23, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

VANCOUVER DESI

An elephant in India has been diagnosed with a broken heart after its partner died on Tuesday, according to the Hindustan Times.

The female elephant, named Rupa, has been described by forest officials as “heartbroken and distraught” ever since her lifelong partner, Amrit, died from complications with his arthritis, while he was being treated at the Valmikinagar Tiger Project (VTR) in north Bihar, where the pair lived together since they were rescued from a circus several years ago.

“Rupa has been refusing food and is incommunicative since the death of Amrit,” said Prabhu Sahni, with VTR.

According to the Hindustan Times, Rupa started to refuse food when she was moved away from Amrit so that veterinarians could take better care of his deteriorating condition. The separation also affected Amrit.

“Despite all kinds of treatment and other efforts made by forest officials, his condition kept deteriorating and we could not save him,” said an official. “As soon as Rupa was removed from his side, Amrit’s condition started deteriorating and he passed away soon after.”

Elephants are known for being social animals with heightened emotions and according to Sahni, Rupa “perhaps had a foreboding of her partner’s end,” which is likely why she began refusing food, he told the Hindustan Times.

Rupa and Amrit’s love often drew patrons to VTR just to get a glimpse of the well-known elephant couple, the Hindustan Times reported.

“Since their circus days they were together. Even at VTR, they helped each other in their daily chores and shared their food equally. Amrit’s death appears to have created a vacuum in Rupa’s life,” said Sahni.


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