India’s Oldest Elephant Passes Away at Remarkable Age of 89

By | August 22, 2023

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Bijuli Prasad, One of the World’s Oldest Elephants, Dies at 89 on an Indian Tea Farm

An elephant, believed to be one of the oldest in the world, has passed away at the age of 89 on a tea farm in India. The exact age of the elephant, named Bijuli Prasad, cannot be confirmed, but it is known that he was brought to work on a tea estate by a British farmer during the colonial rule in the 1940s.

Bijuli Prasad, a young calf at the time, was taken from the wild and dedicatedly served in India’s eastern state of Assam until 2018. His remarkable journey as a working elephant spanned several decades, making him a witness to significant historical events and changes in the tea industry.

Elephant veterinarian Kushal Konwar Sarma, who provided care for Bijuli Prasad during his later years, stated, “Domestic elephants can live up to 80 years if they receive proper care.” Sarma closely monitored the elephant’s health and made adjustments to his diet as his teeth fell out due to old age.

To ensure Bijuli Prasad’s nutritional needs were met, Sarma introduced a modified diet consisting of boiled rice and high-protein soybean. These dietary changes aimed to support the aging elephant’s overall well-being and compensate for the loss of his teeth.

During his prime, Bijuli Prasad effortlessly uprooted old tea bushes and cleared forested areas. His strength and dedication were invaluable to the tea estate. However, as his retirement approached, he found solace at the Behali Tea Estate in Assam, where he spent his remaining years.

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Tragically, on Monday, Bijuli Prasad breathed his last breath. In honor of his loyal service and remarkable life, the elephant was adorned with vibrant flowers and given a funeral ceremony conducted by a Hindu priest. Following the rituals, he was gently laid to rest on the tea farm.

According to the US-based Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Asian elephants typically live up to their mid-50s in the wild. Therefore, Bijuli Prasad’s exceptional lifespan of 89 years serves as a testament to the care and attention he received throughout his existence.

It is worth noting that the oldest recorded elephant, who lived to be 86 years old, passed away in 2003 at Taipei Zoo in Taiwan, as documented by Guinness World Records. The loss of Bijuli Prasad marks the end of an era and a reminder of the remarkable bond between humans and these majestic creatures.

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