The Warrior Never Gives Up :”Moti has received prayers and healing wishes from millions of people around the world”

22 January 2023

This is Moti. He is a 35-year-old bull who lived his life as a begging elephant, was made to give countless rides, and is now in a very poor condition. Our veterinary team travelled to his location to evaluate his health. If they feel that they can get him on his feet, then the Elephant Ambulance will be sent to bring him to the Wildlife SOS Hospital for emergency care.


As he had been fast asleep, some of the diagnostics like x-rays had to be postponed until later. However, the preliminary veterinary evaluation confirmed some serious problems.


His foot pad is separating from the foot base and there is severe avulsion on the right foot’s 3rd and 4th toenails. There seems to be a fracture there as well, but until the veterinary team can use the portable x-ray, the exact location and the extent of the fracture will remain unknown. Blood tests also show that Moti’s kidney and liver functions are compromised.

Moti hadn’t been eating due to the intense pain that he was in. We were able to make a special mixture for him of soft-cooked grain, which he ate a bit of. As of now, he still isn’t able to stand and because of the positioning of his leg, the team is unable to get the x-rays they need to determine what the situation is with potential fractures. They have been giving him strong painkiller medicines and antibiotics. We hope we can get him standing and strong enough to bring him to the hospital!

23 January 2023

From what we know at the moment, it seems that his foot pad has torn away from the base of his foot and the excruciating pain he was experiencing likely caused him to collapse. However, attempts to get his x-rays are still in process to understand what underlying skeletal issues he might be suffering from.

Foot problems tend to be the biggest problems we see with captive elephants. They are forced to walk on hot tarmac roads, which leads to foreign objects like glass getting embedded in their feet. It also can create burns from the hot surfaces.

After a while, the team was able to get Moti standing with the use of a crane. While up, the vets attempted to get an x-ray of the elbow region of his right front leg as it had been swollen.  Unfortunately, because of the extreme swelling, they were unable to do so. He is also unable to bear weight on his left leg where he has the torn foot pad. One happy occurrence was that Moti was drinking water on his own and his appetite had improved.

There is still a lot we do not know about his situation and we can not tell if he will be able to make a recovery. But we are able to make him more comfortable and give him love as we work with him to get stronger. We are committed to stay by his side.

24 January 2023

The team decided to help Moti lie down for the night. A soft bed with straw was put down for him and he was covered with blankets and a tarp to keep him warm.

When our team first arrived a few days ago, Moti hadn’t been eating. However, on 24th January, he showed the most progress in terms of his appetite. He ate about 25 kgs of sugarcane and 25 kgs of fruit. It is far from what a normal elephant his size would normally consume in a day.  However, we were thrilled to see his appetite increase.

We still don’t know the extent of his injuries because we are unable to get clear x-rays of his inflamed leg. That said, the vet team felt encouraged to see a reduction in swelling in that area.  Regular circumference measurements show a reduction of an inch. The elephant care team is staying with him and giving him medicine, treatments, food and love.

25 January 2023

Our veterinary team has been using all the latest technology to diagnose Moti’s injuries and illnesses. This thermal imaging machine has been helpful in detecting all the areas where he has inflammation, and could be the source of pain. Beyond his leg injuries, the vet team has started treating him for parasites. He has intestinal worms that are likely impacting his overall health and strength.

With the passage of time, Moti’s appetite continues to improve. Yesterday he ate 50 kgs of food. Today he ate 10 kgs of papaya, 8 kgs of bananas, 10 kgs of apples and 50 kgs of sugarcane. In all, today’s total reached 78 kgs of food. His appetite has been steadily increasing.

There was another reduction of 1 inch of inflammation in his right front leg. In the last 48 hours, the inflammation has been subsiding. A portable laser machine is being used to help reduce pain and inflammation. It is also being used to promote tissue healing.

Though Moti needs to stand on his feet, it is a difficult predicament. Getting him on his feet takes a lot out of him and can result in further injury if he is still too weak to attempt it.

Although his situation remains very serious, we are encouraged by the progress we are seeing with him.

26 January 2023

Cleaning Moti’s foot wounds is an important part of his daily care. A natural antiseptic solution of neem and turmeric is used for regular cleaning of his wounds. This is followed by applying medication to reduce inflammation. Finally, the exposed foot ulcer is covered. Additionally, he is being given supplements like amino acids and energy supplements to boost his own immunity levels.

Many of our supporters have asked about his detached foot pad and what can be done to fix it.  Eventually, the vets want to remove the detached part. However, Moti is not ready for this at the moment because this would increase his sensitivity in the area and expose him to even more infections.

If you’re looking for a way to help, sign and share the Refuse to Ride petition.

27 January 2023

Moti was able to lift himself up high enough for the team to at least freshen the mud bed below him and have a look at the skin on the side he is lying on. However, he did not have the energy to stand up. The team has been worried about him developing pressure sores on his side from remaining in one position for too long, and it is confirmed that he is beginning to develop them. The team will attempt to reposition him onto his other side.

Moti drank about 40 litres of water and received some additional fluids through IV. He is continuing to show daily progress with the inflammation in his right leg. There was a reduction of another inch in the last 24 hours, which means that there has been a reduction of 3 inches in the last 72 hours.

Although his prognosis is very serious and he faces an uncertain outcome, we continue to stay by his side and provide him with love, care and affection. These are all the things he has been deprived of in his life. We are grateful to you for your compassion for Moti, and for standing with us in our efforts to save him!

28 January 2023

The veterinary team will attempt to see if Moti can stand, even briefly, so that they can try to get an x-ray of that right swollen leg. Several people have asked if he has bruises on his right leg.  That patch is actually hot fomentation that is being used in that area, and the discoloration is not from an injury.

Though Moti was not able to stand today, he was comfortably repositioned on his right side. He has a couple of mattresses that have been placed under his head. Moti’s appetite continues to increase and our team is happy to pamper him with lots of fruits and vegetables. All his other treatments are continuing to reduce swelling, control pain, clean his wounds and fight infections. The team is worried that this may not be enough to pull him through, but nobody is giving up hope.

29 January 2023

Today, Moti ate lots of fruits and vegetables. Moti can easily gulp down 5 bananas at once!

The elephant care team is happy to report that at the moment, he has no issues with his bodily functions of digestion and excretion. The nights have been cool, so a shopping trip was made to buy more blankets to tuck him in with after the sun sets.

He still is not standing, but as we wait for him to get his strength back, we continue to administer treatments to reduce his inflammation, fight infections, treat his wounds and control his pain.

It has been one week since we were called in to help Moti. All of us at Wildlife SOS have fallen in love with him, as we know thousands of you have as well. We don’t know what this next week will bring, but we are grateful to have you by our side every single day as we work to heal him with care and compassion.

30 January 2023

Wound care and foot care are critical components of the daily treatment that Moti is receiving for his feet. Our team is applying the antiseptic wash and medication to the foot with the torn foot pad. Moti is given fruits and other delicious treats during these treatments to make him feel more comfortable.

31 January 2023

Our team is by Moti’s side, making him comfortable and managing his pain. After a week rendering emergency roadside care, we’re still hoping for the best. Our veterinarians had wished Moti would be standing by now, so we are all very concerned for his future.

1 February 2023

This morning, the team tried lifting Moti with the help of the crane but observed that he was not able to bear any weight on both front legs as well as his hind legs. When they had previously lifted him, Moti was capable of at least bearing his weight on both hind legs. Therefore, they were not able to change his position today.Though they have kept a mattress as a cushion for Moti, the team has observed that he is now developing bed sores on his shoulder and hip region on the right side. He is continuing to lie on his side on a bed spread with dry straw. Our veterinarians are keeping Moti comfortable, fed, warm and are managing his pain.What is concerning is that Moti has been on lateral recumbency (on his side) for almost 12 days and due to lack of locomotion (movement), he had started getting oedema (swelling and fluid collection) in his perineal region. It is a challenging situation for the team as they cannot lift him too frequently as it would result in complications, but they also can’t leave him on lateral recumbency for long days.To ensure our veterinary team can bring all their expertise to help Moti, Dr Rahul and Suryoday are now on location to relieve Dr Gochalan and Shresatha. The two elephant caregivers are exhausted after more than a week in the field rendering 24/7 emergency care.

2 February 2023

Moti is comfortable and surrounded by caregivers, but his prognosis is unchanged from yesterday. Veterinarians and caregivers continue to care for Moti’s injuries, and he seems to be appreciating the love and attention. With pain management, soft blankets, and lots of treats, Moti is giving soft rumbles to the team. We are making him comfortable while caring for his injuries, and still hoping for the best. Moti is a fighter, and we won’t give up on him. Moti’s bed sores were cleaned and treated and we are trying to keep the affected areas as dry as possible. The team will attempt to change Moti’s position by making mud piles on both sides and will try to gently move him from the right to the left side.

3 February 2023

Moti’s eating and drinking have improved since we first arrived, and our dedicated team of veterinarians is comforting him, managing his pain and caring for his severe injuries. Unfortunately, Moti is still laying on his side and is too weak to turn, even with assistance. An elephant’s movement is critical to circulation and healing, so his continued lack of movement has our team extremely concerned. Moti is a fighter and our veterinarians will not give up on him, but as every day passes, his future becomes more uncertain.

5 February 2023

The plight of Moti was brought to the Indian Army’s attention by Wildlife SOS. Army engineers have reached Moti and they are working through the night with the Wildlife SOS team to build a structure that can support Moti enough to keep him upright.

We are most grateful to the Indian Army, General V K Singh, Shiv Kunal Verma, Bengal Sappers and the Indian Government for stepping in on our request to help Moti Elephant. This is such a patriotic effort to help India’s heritage animal!

6 February 2023

The Indian Army is on site and has constructed a large hoist to help Moti to his feet. As we mentioned earlier, the weight of Moti’s huge body creates significant pressure on his compromised internal organs, whether he’s laying down or being lifted. We’re trying several types of harnesses and pulley systems to help Moti stand. Our attempt today was unsuccessful, and Moti is now tired and resting. Overnight we are making modifications to the hoist to improve Moti’s comfort. He is getting fluids and medicines, and we hope the overnight rest will prepare Moti for another attempt to stand in the morning.

This is Moti’s last hope. He hasn’t given up, and our rescue team and the Indian Army won’t give up on Moti. These coming days will be critical. Please keep Moti in your thoughts.

7 February 2023

He’s up! After 17 days, he is at last standing. We will post more on his condition later, but wanted to take a moment to celebrate his incredible courage! Moti rests and sleeps in a standing position as he has been in a lateral recumbency position for 2 weeks and Moti is relieved to be standing again. If the doctors feel that he needs to be lying down again, we will lower him down to a lying down position again.

Moti rests and sleeps in a standing position as he has been in a lateral recumbency position for 2 weeks and Moti is relieved to be standing again. If the doctors feel that he needs to be lying down again, we will lower him down to a lying down position again.

7 February 2023

What seemed like an impossible task has been accomplished by patriotic unity and people working together. This one photograph is a testimony for what collaboration can achieve. We still have a long way to go. Moti has a perilous healing journey ahead. May God Bless the Bengal Sappers, Wildlife SOS and every single person who sent their prayers. The biggest hero of course is Moti who did not give up. We are so proud of Moti who is such an inspiration.

9 February 2023

The Veterinary team had to move Moti to a lateral recumbency position this morning as Moti was exhibiting the need to lie down. While in standing position, Moti was using his trunk and mouth to support his front area interchanging this with his front legs, as a result, the base of his trunk started showing signs of injury causing the need to rest. We see active inflammation in the front left limb. The Army team of Bengal Sappers and Wildlife SOS gently lowered the five crane pulleys to shift him to a comfortable lateral position. He is now resting, lying on his left side on a soft mattresses laid above a soft mud bed. The five harnesses will remain connected to him so he can be lifted when required.

Moti is warm and resting comfortably tonight. Our weary team is managing his pain and caring for his needs, hoping for the best. Sleep well, sweet Moti.

11 February 2023

We’ve been trying for three weeks to save Moti. Our veterinary team has ensured Moti is comfortable and pain-free these past weeks. However, he has now stopped eating and is therefore signaling he is tired of fighting.Our team continues to be by his side, to keep him safe and comfortable. Moti is aware that he is surrounded by people who love and care for him. We ask you to please keep him in your thoughts and send prayers. We will post further updates on Moti as soon as possible.

13 February 2023

Moti is warm and comfortable, and seems to be resting peacefully. Our veterinary team is managing his pain, speaking to him softly, and caring for his injuries. Moti’s spirits seem to be better today and he’s been eating and drinking a little, but he is still in dire condition. We are being guided by Moti, and will continue to show him the care, love and kindness he deserves.Moti’s collapse was preventable. If Wildlife SOS was made aware of Moti’s condition sooner, our veterinarians likely could have helped him more. We respectfully request the government take action to protect all captive elephants in India through required bi-annual inspections and veterinary certificates of health. Please sign this petition and speak for other elephants like Moti who don’t have a voice –

17 February 2023

Moti’s condition remains closely watched. Our veterinarians have been by his side 24/7, and they have carefully moved Moti from side-to-side whenever possible to relieve his bedsores. He has been receiving IV fluids and antibiotics, and his extensive injuries are being cared for. Most importantly, Moti is warm, his pain is being managed, and he appears to be comfortable and peaceful. Moti has been eating and drinking a little, so this once mighty bull elephant still wants to live. Our caregivers are exhausted, but we won’t give up on him.

If you care about Moti, have you signed and shared our NEW petition? We need your help now more than ever. Requiring biannual health inspections for all India’s captive elephants would have likely brought attention to Moti’s deplorable condition sooner. Unfortunately, we haven’t received the large number of signatures that we had hoped for. We know so many of you care about Moti and elephants in similar perilous situations, so please take a moment to sign and share, share, share. We hope to have hundreds of thousands of signatures of support to show government officials when we plan a path forward for biannual elephant inspections.


18 February 2023

With profound grief we inform you of the passing of Moti on the auspicious day of Maha Shivratri at 09.38 AM.

Moti was surrounded by people who loved and cared for him at the time of his passing. He passed away peacefully leaving us to help other elephants like him. The Wildlife SOS team left no-stone unturned in caring for him over the last four weeks since we were alerted about his condition. Our efforts were to ensure he was not in pain as he fought to survive.

Moti received prayers and healing wishes from millions across the world who learnt about his condition and that we were with him in this fight. Moti’s soul has found peace and escape from his life in captivity. Even in death Moti inspires us and will always be remembered as a fighter, who never gave up. Moti will always have a special place in our hearts. We will have a memorial for him at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura.