ENVIRONMENT
01/25/2017 11:03 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2017

People Are Making Huge Sweaters To Protect Elephants From The Cold

It takes four weeks to make just one sweater by hand.

Remember when that awesome man knit a whole bunch of tiny sweaters for penguins recovering after an oil spill? This is sort of like that, but a lot … bigger.

An elephant clad in a snappy sweater at Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center.
Courtesy of Wildlife SOS
An elephant clad in a snappy sweater at Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center.

Staff at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center in the northern Indian city of Mathura have been working together to handmake extra-large sweaters for the pachyderms in their care, in light of this winter’s severely cold weather.

Making one of the gigantic sweaters takes four weeks, so only three elephants have them so far, Wildlife SOS co-founder Kartick Satyanarayan told The Dodo. In the meantime, the rest are making do with gigantic blankets.

It takes weeks to make one of the elephant sweaters, so in the meantime, many of the elephants are wearing big blankets to de
Courtesy of Wildlife SOS
It takes weeks to make one of the elephant sweaters, so in the meantime, many of the elephants are wearing big blankets to deal with the cold.

The center cares for 20 elephants, rescued from wildlife traffickers, abusive circuses and other harmful circumstances. In some cases, elephants who have suffered cruelty are more vulnerable to the cold, Satyanarayan said in a statement.

“It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia,” he said. 

The elephants at the center are especially vulnerable to the cold because of the abuse they've experienced.
Courtesy of Wildlife SOS
The elephants at the center are especially vulnerable to the cold because of the abuse they've experienced.

Satyanarayan added that many of the elephants also suffer from arthritis, which can be aggravated by the cold.

The weather at the center is “comparatively sunny during the daytime,” but the temperatures drop significantly at night, spokeswoman Arinita Sandilya told The Huffington Post in an email. That, in addition to the physical labor involved with caring for elephants, is why the people in the photos are wearing T-shirts.

HuffPost

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