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Villagers in India knit jumpers to keep elephants warm

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Elephants in India are sporting colourful woollen jumpers after villagers knitted the super-size garments to protect the animals from near-freezing temperatures, the Independent reported.

Women in a village near the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in the northern city of Mathura reportedly began producing the colourful, pyjama-like garments after staff at the centre warned temperatures were approaching sub-zero at night.

The conservation centre takes in rescued elephants who have previously suffered chronic neglect and beatings from cruel handlers.

Kartick Satyanarayan, founder of the centre, said it was important to protect the formerly abused elephants from the cold.

The centre currently houses 20 elephants that have been rescued from illegal captivity, trafficking mafia, exploited for street begging and circuses where they were abused and subjected to extreme cruelty.

Staff have plans to rescue a further 50 elephants in 2017, with hopes to secure more land to expand the sanctuary.

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Elephants, many of whom have suffered serious abuse in the past, photographed wearing the knitted multi-coloured, pyjama-like garments knitted by local villagers