Thursday, October 25, 2007

'Oldest' elephant is a grouchy old woman

Carers of Vatsala, an elephant in her nineties, say she is a real grumpy old woman.
She's got no teeth, dotes on youngsters but gets grouchy when her arthritis flares up.
'She is just like a pensioner,' says Sanjeev Gupta of the Panna Tiger Reserve in India, where Vatsala lives.
'She is kind with the calves but is the first to give them a ticking off when they over-step the mark.'
The gentle giant came to the Madhya Pradesh sanctuary in 1971. She had already lost her teeth by then – meaning she was at least 50.
Her carers want to prove she is older than an 86-year-old elephant which holds the world record. Vatsala lives out her retirement being pampered, eating chopped grass and bamboo.
But, like most grandmothers, she's got a sweet tooth and loves sugar cane juice most.
Mr Gupta added: 'Vatsala is given extra respect. She always gets her own way.'

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