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'Oldest' Elephant A Grouchy Old Woman

We've all seen it – an elderly relative plonking themselves down in a chair, followed by the phrase: 'Ooh, my knees are playing up.'

Well, spare a thought for Vatsala, an elephant in her nineties, whose carers say is a real grumpy old woman.

She's got no teeth, dotes on youngsters but gets grouchy when her arthritis flares up.

'She is just like a pensioner,' says Sanjeev Gupta of the Panna Tiger Reserve in India, where Vatsala lives.

'She is kind with the calves but is the first to give them a ticking off when they over-step the mark.'

The gentle giant came to the Madhya Pradesh sanctuary in 1971. She had already lost her teeth by then – meaning she was at least 50.

Her carers want to prove she is older than an 86-year-old elephant which holds the world record. Vatsala lives out her retirement being pampered, eating chopped grass and bamboo.

But, like most grandmothers, she's got a sweet tooth and loves sugar cane juice most.

Mr Gupta added: 'Vatsala is given extra respect. She always gets her own way.'
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