Elephants in India’s Pink City Face Water Scarcity Due to Scorching Temperatures

Created: 2013-05-07 03:38 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific

Elephants, one of the main tourist attractions at the famous Amber fort in India's pink city of Jaipur, faced the brunt of an intense heat wave as water reservoirs in the region dry up.

Around 1.4 million tourists visit the Amber Fort each year and the elephants, which are used to take the tourists to the top of the fort, serve as a major attraction.
India's northwestern Rajasthan state has been historically known to be one of the hottest in the country.
This summer, the elephants that are used to transport tourists to the Amber fort are facing acute shortage of water to bathe and drink.
[Kapil Dev, Local Mahout,Elephant Handler]:
"Because of the tremendous heat, the elephants are facing a lot of problems. They are not getting water to bathe and to drink. We are forced to bring water tankers to provide the elephants with drinking water."
According to local elephant riders, an elephant needs an average of 50 to 80 gallons of water everyday and this need is currently not being met.
The only option now for the elephants is the pond near the fort, which is off limits.
[Akram Khan, Local mahou, Elephant Handler]:
"Of course there are a lot of problems and these problems will continue until the pond is opened. The elephants love to take baths in the pond, because they swim in it, which is also good as it removes all the lethargy in them. The pond also has all the minerals and when the elephants drink from that pond, they would remain healthy."
Usually, until the onset of the monsoon, May and June are the hottest months in India with temperatures often in the range of 107 to 117 degrees Fahrenheit in many places.