After eradicating the brutal, centuries-old practice of dancing bears in India, Wildlife SOS is taking the first steps towards addressing the abuse & exploitation of elephants used in performances and in the entertainment industry. In the first phase of this campaign, Wildlife SOS plans to facilitate the rescue of 17 performing elephants used for begging, tourism etc and move them to elephant rehabilitation centers.

Captive elephants for performances and in the entertainment industry suffer from poor mental & physical health. They are often chained for 23 hours each day, suffer from complete lack of exercise and stand in their dung and urine for long hours. They are fed an unbalanced, unhealthy diet with no nutritional value and provided with no enrichment.

Wildlife SOS first put their concern about the plight of captive elephants in entertainment & tourism into action by rescuing abused performing elephants in 2009. Since the establishment of the Elephant Conservation & Care Center in Mathura in collaboration with Project Elephant and Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, three circus elephants Maya, Rajesh and Bijli have already been rescued and rehabilitated.


  • Elephants are often kept shackled by all four legs, for 23 hours each day.
  • They sadly endure a lifetime of slavery & misery.
  • Elephants are confined to cramped and unhygienic spaces in which they defecate, urinate, eat, drink, and sleep — all in the same place.
  • They are forced to perform tricks that are unnatural to them like standing on their head, sitting on two legs, playing with fire, etc.
  • Their access to fresh drinking water, food and veterinary care is severely restricted.
  • In July 2014, Wildlife SOS received worldwide recognition for rescuing Raju, an abused working & performing elephant who had been severely mistreated and kept in spiked chains for 50 years.
  • Wildlife SOS has rescued and rehabilitated 12 elephants so far from adverse conditions from all over India.
  • Wildlife SOS established India’s first modern elephant care center which does not use cruel implements, tools, spiked chains or any painful management practices to control elephants.
  • The objective of the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Welfare Project is to protect elephants by creating awareness about the plight of elephants in India. This project advocates use of modern and cruelty free methods of elephant management and training.Wildlife SOS is dedicated to address the issue of performing elephants while also assisting the Government in law implementation to protect and conserve the National Heritage Animal of India.