Just because elephants are large creatures, it does not mean that they are immune to cold weather. They do feel the cold.
Women from villages around Mumbai have taken on the gigantic task of keeping the gentle giants warm. They knit huge sweaters and pyjama outfits for the elephants.
The previous owners of the elephants treated them very badly, beating them with iron rods and letting them eat food from the streets instead of natural fodder. Some elephants were even trained to beg for food on the streets.
There are 20 elephants living at the sanctuary and the ladies took a long time to complete the outfits for all of them. The villagers have taken it on themselves to make sure that the elephants not only have warm coverings, but also good food.
The elephants have become used to the women visiting them, and sitting near them to make their clothes, and have developed a rapport with them. They are no longer afraid that they will be abused, and allow the women to sit close by.
The villagers regularly come by to keep the elephants company and friendship and trust has developed between them. The elephants do not look at them as people to be scared of, but instead as gentle people who will not harm them.
While the colours and style may not be fashionable, we think that the elephants truly appreciate the comfort and warmth of their new clothes. Somehow the elephants know that each article have been lovingly hand made for them, with care, pride, and kindness.