World Elephant Day: Did You Know Assam is Home to the World's Oldest Asiatic Elephant?
In the tea gardens of Assam lives Bijuli Prasad, the oldest known Asiatic elephant in the world.
"Bijuli Prasad must be around 86 years old and is the oldest Asian elephant as per records," Padma Shri awardee Dr. Kushal Konwar Sharma told G Plus. Dr. Konwar, known as the 'Elephant Doctor', has been treating Bijuli for over 25 years.
Bijuli Prasad belonged to the Magor Tea Estates of Assam and he was christened by Oliver Sahib from England who gave him this name.
In 1968, the Borgang Tea Company bought Bijuli. He was involved in uprooting old tea bushes and other works.
The elephant was put on salary, which was exceptional at the time, and from that salary, the wages for the mahout were cut, his food and medicine paid for and a pension started.
Bijuli stayed in Borgang post-retirement as well, as a member of the extended Magor Family.
Now, the old tusker lives a healthy life as a privileged member of the Bihali Tea Estate in Sonitpur district of Assam.
Bihali Tea estate had bought Bijuli from Borgang Tea Company in 2018. At Bihali Tea estate, the management has arranged for two keepers for Bijuli in the company's payroll.
There are doctors to monitor his health and weight every week, along with proper meals three times a day.
Currently, Bijuli weighs around 400 kilograms and his health condition is stable despite his old age.
Normally, elephants live up to 50 years, while their maximum lifespan is generally estimated at 70.
Speaking to G Plus about Bijuli's health, Dr Konwar said, "He has suffered from health problems earlier, but he has been treated well and is doing fine now."
He added that Bijuli is unable to properly chew with his molar teeth and is thus fed boiled foods, grasses cut into small pieces, banana stem cut in small piece and rice among others.
Earlier, Dakshayani- the 88-year-old captive elephant in Kerala was considered to be the oldest in India and even Asia.
She died in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in 2019 after she became reluctant to eat anything during her last days.
- World Elephant Day
- World's Oldest Asiatic Elephant
- Assam news
- Padma Shri awardee
- Dr. Kushal Konwar Sharma
- Bijuli Prasad
- Bihali Tea Estate
- World's Oldest Elephant
G Plus File photo