They didn’t ask to join the circus. But if they could speak, they’d surely say they couldn’t be happier to leave the big top forever.
Mia and Sita,two 50-year-old female elephants, spent most of their lives in chains at an Indian circus in Tiruvannamalai.
Thanks to Wildlife SOS, a rescue and rehabilitation organization, the old gals off to a leisurely, stress and shackle-free retirement in an Indian sanctuary filled with mud baths, papayas and plenty of TLC.
One elephant was so relieved after the 1,300-mile trip to her new home, she lay right down and well-deserved nap.
“While we don’t know exactly when Mia was last allowed to do this,” Wildlife SOS states on its website, “it’s clear that this is something she has needed for a long time.”
Due to poor conditions at the circus, both elephants developed significant medical problems, according to the organization.
Mia, the spunkier of the two, has cloudy eyes, swollen feet, and toenails covered in sores.
Sita injuries are more severe. “Her right front leg never healed properly from an old fracture and she cannot bend it,” said Wildlife SOS. “Her left front leg is hyperextended, putting pressure on her foot, which has led to nail cracks and abscesses. Because of these problems, she has likely not been able to lie down and rest properly in more than a year!”