You know things are bad when even elephants have to go on a diet. According to reports, authorities in India have been given the task of managing the weight of obese elephants kept in temples. According to the Daily Mail, the temple officials will be reconfiguring the diets of these temple elephants based on the advice of veterinary surgeons.
These elephants which are kept in temples are usually reared for religious reasons such as taking part in ceremonies and festivals. Compared to the ones in the wild, these pampered pachyderms are considered obese due to their diets lacking in variety. And certain superstitions also seem to be fueling these elephants' unhealthy lifestyles, as some astrologers suggest that feeding elephants will help ward off evil.
Activists have long pointed out that keeping an elephant in a temple itself is abuse and a gross violation of animal rights. Dr AJT John Singh, former director the Wildlife Institute of India, recommends that several temples to join forces to buy a patch of land with natural cover, water and food. That way, the animals can still wander around and be brought to the temple only during festive occasions.