Indian Park Provides its Elephants “Day Off” From Work on Hindu Festival

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India's famous Bengal Safari Park in eastern West Bengal state's Siliguri city provided its elephants with a day off from their safari services in observance of the Hindu festival of Vishwakarma Puja. The two elephants, Laxmi and Urmila, were decorated with murals, worshipped by tourists, and provided with fruit, Friday, September 17, as they are considered to be the vehicle of Lord Vishwakarma, the Hindu architect god. The elephant rides are the primary attraction of the park, spread across an area of more than 700 acres. India has upwards of 50 percent of all Asiatic elephants in the world, and they are considered to be the most intelligent animals. Elephants in India, numbering around 25,000 in the wild, are an endangered species. (Reuters)
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