Wildlife SOS was established in 1995 by a small group of individuals inspired to start a movement and make lasting change to protect and conserve India’s natural heritage, forest and wildlife wealth. Today, the organisation has evolved to actively work towards protecting Indian wildlife, conserving habitat, studying biodiversity, conducting research and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for erstwhile poacher communities or those communities that depend on wildlife for sustenance.
India’s wildlife is under severe threat – every animal from the majestic elephant and the tiger, to the shy sloth bear and rare pangolins have fast become “the hunted”. While time is running out for these creatures, it’s not too late to help. Wildlife SOS consistently makes a difference to give back to the planet, to give back to nature and help protect the environment and wildlife.
Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani with their shared enthusiasm, dedicated themselves to the mission of eradicating the abusive practice of ‘dancing’ bears in India completely.The initial days were very difficult due to lack of support and funding. Geeta’s foresight in creating Wildlife SOS as an arm of her existing rescue operation, Friendicoes, allowed the two organizations to share knowledge and resources as the team learned and made its way through the initial challenges of addressing the needs of urban wildlife suffering from habitat encroachment a result of the surging population growth in India.
Today it is an organisation responsible for taking action against animal cruelty, rescuing wildlife in distress, working to resolve man-animal conflicts while promoting and educating the public about the need for habitat protection. Wildlife SOS is committed to working with communities who depend on wildlife for sustenance and providing them alternative and sustainable livelihoods as that is the key to sustainable conservation. Wildlife SOS also emphasizes the value of ex-situ research in veterinary areas, behavioural studies, reproductive physiology and other fields in collaboration with national and international universities and organisations.
Although Wildlife SOS is mainly known for its work with the “Dancing Bears” of India, we also have active projects to help Leopards, Elephants, Reptiles and other animals. We work on various projects targeted at environment and biodiversity conservation as well as reducing our carbon footprint. With the help of our dedicated staff and volunteers, grant programs and supportive agencies, both national and international, everyday they renew their commitment to the animals and to finding innovative ways to sustain and grow their mission. Wildlife SOS has formal ‘co-operative’ agreements in place with state governments and forest departments in more than nine states in India.
In 2009, Wildlife SOS UK was launched in support of the conservation work taking place in India. Wildlife SOS UK works in close collaboration with the volunteers and staff in India to raise awareness and funds for all of the current projects. Wildlife SOS UK is a registered charity (charity no 1126511). Wildlife SOS UK is an all-volunteer branch.
In 2005, as Wildlife SOS Co-Founders Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani were traveling to the United States as guest speakers at various fundraising and awareness engagements, they met with many people abroad who were eager to be supportive of the cause. Wildlife SOS USA was set up as a 501(c)3 charity organization in order to act as a vehicle for Americans to rally to the cause of protecting and enabling Geeta and Kartick’s work in support of endangered and threatened wildlife.
The organisation has two full-time staff members.