I am Samrat. I was born on January 9, 2013. When I was born in this beautiful world, I was excited and already trying to stand up on my feet, walking and running as soon as I was able to do so. Slowly the days passed and according to Nepali Hindu Culture I was given a beautiful name during the name giving ceremony. The priest saw the Nepali Calendar and gave me a name accordingly: Samrat Gaj. I am very happy and proud of my name. Samrat means King of Kings. Among all my friends and family here, I am the only male elephant in my shelter.
When I was 9 months old I got very sick: I was diagnosed with Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHV) or Elephantid beta herpesvirus 1 (ElHV-1) which is a type of herpesvirus. This can cause a highly fatal hemorrhagic disease when transmitted to young Asian elephants, which kills up to 80% of severely affected animals. People took turns day and night, providing necessary care and bringing food. Sadly, my condition did not improve. I was so sick that I couldn’t breathe and I was given oxygen. Day and night I was fighting for my life. Everyone at Sapana Village Lodge was helping me to recover but all was in vain. The owner was very worried about my condition and he brought doctors from India and Kathmandu for my treatment. Still my strength did not come back. I was almost at my final moment , when one caretaker from the elephant sanctuary from Chitwan National Park, offered to treat me with some local herbal medicine. Dhruba gave permission and he quickly mixed some herbs, put them on my skin, fed them to me. After some time, I became relaxed and feeling better. It was a miracle Dhruba, who had lost all hope, saw a glimpse of hope on the local haatisaar! He came every day to treat me and day by day my condition improved and after a while I was fully healed. In January, the people from Sapana Village Lodge organized a birthday party for me, as you can see in the photographs here. Now I enjoy each day in Sapana. I am a very curious and quite active elephant! My caretaker must keep me busy with activities and games. You are welcome at Sapana Village Lodge where you can visit me in the Elephant Sanctuary.