Madhuri, an Indian Elephant, Takes A Lizard For a Ride

An Indian elephant has stunned wildlife experts by catching a live lizard and carrying it around for days like a toy.

Madhuri, an Indian elephant, swings a monitor lizard about by its tail at a park in India. However, how the lizard felt after its ordeal is not known. Photo: Jagdeep Rajput/Solent

Madhuri, an Indian elephant, has stunned wildlife experts by catching a live lizard and carrying it around for days like a toy. With tail firmly clamped in the animal’s trunk the lizard was swung around and occasionally put back on the floor.

It might have been a bumpy ride for the tiny creature – but Madhuri certainly looked delighted with her new ‘toy’. These extraordinary shots were taken by photographer Jagdeep Rajput during a trip to India’s Corbett National Park.

The 49-year-old photographer, from Delhi, has been taking photographs for 20 years but admitted he had never before seen such a spectacle. “I had heard about this elephant before and looked out for her,” he said.

Madhuri was enjoying her dinner, although the lizard may have been feeling a bit nauseous. Photo: Jagdeep Rajput/Solent

“She’s known to be quite aggressive so when I did eventually find her I approached her carefully. The park has a good population of lizards and Madhuri is known as an expert in catching them – she has a particular fancy for monitor lizards,” he added.

He continued: “She caught the lizard alive and carried it all the time for few days – tossing it up and even dropping it. Her behaviour was extraordinary and I’ve never seen or heard about anything so bizarre before.”

The lizard makes a break for it after several days of being carried around as Madhuri's new toy. Photo: Jagdeep Rajput/Solent

The Indian elephant is a subspecies of the Asian elephant. This particular species can weigh up to five tons and measure an incredible 11 feet from feet to shoulder. It’s trunk lacks bone and cartilage but does contain 100,000 muscle units, which gives the elephant an incredible dexterity and allows it to pick up very small objects.

The species is endowed with a very large brain, which allows them to record memories and experiences. Some experts even believe the animal possesses an intuition that allows them to imagine what other elephants are feeling. There’re thought to be below 30,000 Asian elephants in existence, around half of which are found in India. [via Daily Telegraph (UK) and Daily Mail (UK)]

Share this article

We welcome comments that advance the story directly or with relevant tangential information. We try to block comments that use offensive language, all capital letters or appear to be spam, and we review comments frequently to ensure they meet our standards. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Coinspeaker Ltd.