Holding on To Asha, Holding on To Hope

On 23rd January, our ever-shining ray of Hope, Asha (meaning hope in Hindi), bid us farewell. The Elephant Conservation and Care Center that once reverberated with Asha's loud trumpets and the laughter of her caregiver, Babu Lal, fell silent. As Asha left, she took a piece of all our hearts with her. Yet, what she left behind was a pivotal lesson […]

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Elephant Of The Month : Asha

While Northern India is slowly feeling the drop in temperatures and longing for warmer weather, the mood at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura is quite the opposite. For our resident elephants winters is a time for warm oil massages, sun-bathing, long walks and mud baths, and Asha is no different! She enjoys going on her daily[…]

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“Victorious” Elephant of the Month: Asha

The blow of an ankush, the loud command of an unfriendly voice and the end of a short slumber – that is what summed up a normal day for Asha as a riding elephant at the Amer Fort, in Jaipur. While adored and appreciated for the royalty and the beauty, the Fort holds dark truths of elephants’ joyrides that involve the brutal process of taming a […]

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Hussain Basha-A Bear Keeper at the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center

Hussain Basha has been working with Wildlife SOS for 12 years now and is currently based out of the organization’s Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center. Sloth bears being his favorite species, it gives him immense pleasure to be able to look after them and take care of their well-being.   How did you start working with Wildlife SOS? I joined[…]

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A Webinar On Asha, Lakhi & Suzy

February 2015 brought three new elephants to the Wildlife SOS family, each with a painful history of abuse in captivity, and each with a wonderfully unique personality that made it impossible not to love them instantaneously. Suzy, Asha and Lakhi formed a herd soon after the trio arrived at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, despite never […]

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ASHA FINDS HOPE! STARTS HER NEW JOURNEY WITH WILDLIFE SOS

After 46 long years of being chained and leading a life of suffering, Asha was freed on 20th February, 2015 by Wildlife SOS with the cooperation of the Forest Department. She is currently being escorted to her new home by a ten member expert team from the Wildlife SOS Elephant Care Center including three veterinarians and several animal care staff […]

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ASHA’S HEART BREAKING STORY BEFORE RESCUE

Asha is a female elephant aged approximately 46 years who has been used for elephant rides in Amber fort, Jaipur all her life. Once injured and forced to climb the steep trudge up the Amber fort she was sold to be a begging elephant. Adding to her pain and misery, she was later smuggled to Indore to a new owner with illegal documents who did not[…]

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Elephant Of The Month – Ginger

For most of her life, Ginger was adorned with colourful chalk paint and made to walk on hot tarmac roads as a begging elephant. She was subjected to regular beatings, starvation, and a cruel apathy. Ginger lived under the constant threat of being beaten or prodded with a bullhook (ankush). Sheer brutality eventually led to her becoming blind.[…]

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Elephant Of The Month – Star Of The Nut Herd, Coco!

Circuses were once a common place to sight elephants. They were made to perform to entertain audiences. However, each elephant was subjected to physical torture and mental trauma while being trained and were kept under dire conditions. Coconut was a victim of these circumstances. In 2015, she was  rescued by Wildlife SOS from a circus in[…]

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Mother’s Day Special – Wonderful Moms In India’s Jungles!

As Mother's Day comes along, we would like to take the time to highlight some of the most loving and daring mothers found in India's jungles. These moms are ready to risk it all; be it carrying their young ones on their backs, nursing them despite the harshest conditions, or even fighting tooth and nail for their offspring's safety! Nature is[…]

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Wildlife Folklores And A Potpourri Of Fascinating Stories

What else can make your day better, than a story – or rather a set of stories! Folktales or folklores are common in all cultures. These are generally fables which mostly originate in a community and are passed down through generations by word-of-mouth. Just like human societies, there are folklores related to wildlife and wild animals too. Let[…]

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Is Pop Culture Hastening The Demise of Asian Elephants?

In 1903 Thomas Edison made a 60-second film aptly titled "Electrocuting an Elephant." The black and white film showcased the brutal electrocution of Topsy,  an Asian elephant that could no longer be managed by her owners. Her entire life, Topsy was a circus elephant used as a mere prop for the entertainment of humans. Even in her death, Topsy[…]

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Bear Cub Rescued From The Menacing Grasp Of Barbed Wires

A wild Sloth bear cub trapped in a barbed-wire fence is an extremely worrisome image. But as soon as the news flew in that the cub was in distress, a rescue team immediately rushed to the location to the aid of the helpless cub. The one-and-a-half year old female bear had found herself in a perilous situation after getting caught in a[…]

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Creating A Safe World For Ginger At Wildlife SOS!

In the cold month of December, the Wildlife SOS Rescue team set upon an arduous journey to the city of Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to rescue a blind and geriatric pachyderm. The team had received intel about the horrific abuse being inflicted on this frail pachyderm being used for begging. The elephant was being forced to live in a world where she[…]

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Bat-ling Myths and Superstitions

Bats are magisterial creatures with Goliath-like wings who have various epithets attached to them - blood-sucking vampires, carriers of bad omen, and most recently spreaders of a lethal disease, Covid-19.  There is no scarcity of folktales and myths that villainize bats. Behind these veils of myths and superstitions that adorn the bat exists […]

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Socialisation Of Rescued Elephants At Wildlife SOS

Elephant herds are the living examples of the strongest familial relationships in the wild, each member of the herd has a role to play to ensure that the herd is safe. For an animal that thrives in the company of similar majestic beings, a life in captivity is nothing short of torture and injustice. This is precisely why, when rescued elephants,[…]

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Life Lessons Humans Can Learn From Leopards

Known for their magnificent golden, speckled bodies and graceful hunting techniques, the Indian Leopard is a bewitching majesty in its own, right? Unfortunately, human intrusion such as habitat encroachment, rapid urbanization, and man-animal conflict has stripped them of their natural habitat. As we work together to help conserve the natural[…]

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From Tormented Souls To Happy Feet At Wildlife SOS

The elephant proudly holds the title of the largest living land mammal on the planet, which means that the weight of this responsibility rests on their strong limbs. Their body weight is divided on their forelimbs and hindlimbs in a 60 to 40 ratio. At first glance of their large feet, the wide nails and thick skin hide the intricate skeletal[…]

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Elephants Beat The Heat In Jumbo Pools

As maximum temperatures reach up to 47 degrees Celsius in parts of Uttar Pradesh, the team at the Elephant Conservation & Care Centre, Mathura have taken innovative measures to help the elephants beat that summer heat! At ECCC, all 28 resident pachyderms have access to their very own Jumbo swimming pools as well as water sprinklers that[…]

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Celebrating Wildlife SOS’ Team Of Veterinarians On World Veterinary Day

It is believed that not all heroes wear capes, some of them don a green Veterinary scrubs and set out each day to ensure that the animals under our care are doing fine. The world calls them “veterinarians” but we call them “our wildlife heroes”! This World Veterinary Day, we take you on some exclusive insights from the veterinarians of […]

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Mithali

Year of rescue: 2017 Age at the time of rescue:5 months old Sex: Female Personality traits: Calm, reserved and laid-back Recognisable features: Smaller in size as compared to Maahi and Ankita Present health condition: Mithali undergoes regular medical check-up to keep a tab on his immunity Facility: Bannerghatta Bear Rescue[…]

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Erika – Elephant of the Month!

62-year-old Erika’s history is shrouded in pain, agony and utter neglect – however, that hasn’t subdued her indomitable spirit in any way. If anything, this dauntless courage shines through every day that we’ve known her. From the exhausted, weak, and utterly malnourished elephant that roamed the dusty streets of Haryana to the tall,[…]

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Rescued Elephants Welcome Winters at Wildlife SOS

As the bright sunshine pierces through the dense fog and mist of the morning, our elephants can be seen pausing amidst their walks to bask under the sun at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre. The month of December, with its unpredictable and delightful rainfall, prepared us all for a chilly winter that was lurking around the[…]

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Celebrating Vitthal’s Eleven-year-long Voyage with Wildlife SOS

For the past eleven years Vitthal has called the Wildlife SOS Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar home. In this past decade, the stoic and determined leopard has only gone from strength to strength. While giving us a coveted look into leopard psychology, Vitthal has also helped break some common archetypes of big cat behaviour – like his staunch[…]

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Elephant of the Month: Suzy

In the words of Greek philosopher Plutarch - “….the elephant also is become man's plaything, and a spectacle at public solemnities; and it learns to skip, dance, and kneel.” We find ourselves agreeing most vociferously with the ancient historian. The use of these majestic animals by humans to their own advantage since time immemorial […]

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Maya Celebrates 10-Year Milestone In Her Road To Recovery

“They say an elephant never forgets. What they don't tell you is, you never forget an elephant.” Anyone who meets Maya will heartily agree with the above statement. Once you interact with the exuberant pachyderm, it is impossible to forget her vivacity and joie-de-vivre. As she stands tall and proud munching on fresh, juicy sugarcane next[…]

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Caring for Blind Elephants at Wildlife SOS

With Arya’s arrival at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital, there are now a total of 6 rescued blind elephants under our care. These elephants have endured brutality and pain, which caused irreversible damage to their body and mind. Severe malnutrition coupled with lack of timely medical treatment for eye injuries that were caused by repeated […]

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Life Lessons from Animals on Teachers’ Day!

It is believed that everything that surrounds us imparts an important lesson, one way or the other. Surrounded by the pandemic, there has been a certain change of perception as we become a little more compassionate and conscientious to our environment and all its stakeholders. Each year, the 5th of September is celebrated as the Teachers’ Day,[…]

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Keeper Of The Month: Balu Mundhe!

Taking care of big cats is not an easy task, especially for the leopards under our care as they have been rescued from situations of conflict or serious injuries and some even bear the brunt of separation from their mothers at a young age. What makes the care of these majestic leopards possible is the utmost dedication of their caregivers who are […]

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Benefits of a Veggielicious Diet on Eat Your Vegetables Day!

We have all probably grown up with our parents having to chase us to finish that lone piece of broccoli or the bits of carrots that lay abandoned in our plates. Even at our schools, teachers would give us countless lessons on the importance of eating vegetables to gain strength and immunity. This holds true not only for us but also for the[…]

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Keeper of the Month: Babu Lal!

Our elephants have the chance at life once again, due to the care and compassion of our elephant keepers, who work day-in and day-out so that our elephants are comfortable and content. Of one such large-hearted man is Babu lal, Asha and Suzy’s keeper, who hails from a village near Palwal, Haryana and has dedicated their entire life into taking[…]

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Celebrating the Four-Legged Moms this Mother’s Day!

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes, while most of ours have two limbs, there are some special ones that walk the face of Earth each day, protecting their little ones and teaching them all that they need to know about how to survive.  We are, of course, talking about some of nature’s formidable animal mothers! They constantly balance the[…]

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Suzy

Year of rescue: 2015 Age at the time of rescue: 65 years old Sex: Female Personality traits: Reserved and calm Recognisable features: Petite and the oldest female at Elephant Conservation and Care Centre Present health condition: Suzy is completely blind in both eyes; presently, she is not undergoing any treatment[…]

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Children At Art Fest 2020 Bring Alive The Tales Of Wildlife SOS

What a beautiful thing to have, imagination, and there is none stronger than that which is lent wings by a child’s whimsy and innocence. At the Children’s Art Fest 2020, a land of imagination was built by youngsters – they told stories capturing the essence of Wildlife SOS rescues, they stitched quilts for the elephants under the care of[…]

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Running for a wild cause!

In the early hours of October 20, 2019, more than 40,000 enthusiastic runners took to the streets of Delhi to participate in the 15th Edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the National Capital. What began as an event in 2005 has now turned into a movement. It heralds a fitness revolution in the[…]

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Bear of the Month: Deva

Prior to his rescue in 2006, Deva’s every day was a vicious flat circle. He would accompany his Kalandar master everywhere he went after all Deva was his only source of livelihood. This dependence as a means of earning money, however, came at a great mental and physical cost to this then 5-year-old bear. Snatched from his mother as a young cub[…]

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Winter Management for our Rescued Bears and Elephants

With the temperatures sinking across North India, Wildlife SOS brings to their rescued elephants and bears, unique measures to brave the cold. The dawn of the winter season broke open with enhanced diet supplements and other unique measures to combat the chills. The elephants at Elephant Conservation and Care Centre were provided with blankets to[…]

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Saying Goodbye To Our Beloved Akbar Bear!

The month of July started on a very sad note for the Wildlife SOS family, as we suffered an unexpected loss in the form of our beloved bear Akbar.  A little over 26 years of age, he lost his long fight against severe pulmonary Tuberculosis and liver dysfunction. Often referred to as “The Angry Old Man” by our bear keepers, Akbar’s[…]

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FAQ For Elephant Riding

My friends rode an elephant and said it was an amazing experience – what’s so terrible about it? It may be your dream to ride an elephant, but it is an elephant’s worst nightmare to be ridden. Here’s what goes into making an elephant “rideable”: First, an elephant calf is captured from the wild, tearing it away from its mother and[…]

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Driving Awareness For Our Elephants!

The Times Women’s Drive, an initiative of the Times Group, is an annual three-day women’s driving competition that aims to celebrate the untamable spirit of Indian women. The all women-rally is an expression of solidarity of women for various social causes and their zest to create social awareness through friendships and bonds developed along[…]

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A Farewell to Our Beloved Elephant, Lakhi

Winter had barely left Mathura in February 2015 when Lakhi arrived at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre – she was over 60 years old, a blind former-begging elephant rescued from the streets of the city of Pune. She seemed timid, and nervous – blindness is an added burden for captive elephants that can never really tell where the next[…]

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Bear Of The Month: Nakul!

Nakul and his brother Kuber were barely a few months old when they were rescued from Tumkur district, Karnataka in 2011. Poachers had killed their mother who was trying to simply defend her babies. They were planning on smuggling the cubs out of the state but had to forfeit the plan and run off own their own before our team and law enforcers[…]

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Bear Of The Month: Kasthuri

Kasthuri was rescued from a Kalandar settlement in West Bengal in 2007. She was only six months old at the time but had already been subjected to immense abuse and cruelty. As part of her indoctrination as a dancing bear, a red hot iron poker was forcibly pierced through her soft muzzle and a rope was then strung through the fresh wound. The[…]

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A Big Buffet For Our Rescued Eles On Elephant Appreciation Day!

Nearly every elephant in captivity has been caught from the wild, snatched from its family and mother by ruthless poachers – and then enslaved for the entirety of its life. The exploitation of elephants is not only horrifying in terms of the mental and physical impact it has on individual elephants in captivity, but also the extreme detrimental[…]

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It’s Peanut Day!

In April 2015, 6 year old Peanut  became the youngest elephant ever to be rescued by Wildlife SOS. Peanut was part of a group of four young elephants that had spent the entirety of their lives performing in a circus in the Indian state of Maharashtra. When not being made to perform demeaning and often dangerous tricks for the amusement of the[…]

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Celebrating Second Rescue Anniversary; Update On The Nut Herd Members!

With the summer of 2015 came warm sunshine and big changes at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, Mathura – as not one, but four, new elephants made their way to their forever home at the Wildlife SOS rescue centre in northern India. Travelling all the way from the west Indian state of Maharashtra, these four elephants were not just the[…]

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Everything You Need To Know About ‘Musth’!

What is musth?Musth is a completely natural phenomenon seen in healthy adult bull elephants, both tuskers and makhnas (tuskless bulls). Generally characterised by the secretion of a hormone rich substance called temporin from the temporal gland (on either side of the elephant’s head) and a steady trickle of urine down the back legs of the[…]

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Special Care For Suzy; The Oldest Elephant At ECCC

She’s so tiny, it’s hard to spot her amidst the towering figures of the other elephants in the Herd of Hope. Slowly but surely navigating her way through the herd and across the topography of the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, with the tip of her trunk running close to the ground and guiding her, she ambles along with the herd,[…]

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Top 15 Rescues Of 2015

For Wildlife SOS, 2015 had its fair share of highs and lows, and brought with it all the memorable, pulse-racing moments of a busy year well-spent. Our teams, spread across India, are linked by a very special cause- rescuing wildlife in distress and bringing them to safety. These are the top 15 rescues we pulled off in 2015, thanks to your[…]

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Animals With Arthritis

Causing stiffness, swelling and sometimes unbearable pain in the affected joints, arthritis affects a sizeable number of people in the world, hindering their mobility and everyday activities, and causing them immense discomfort and pain. Living with arthritis can be unimaginably difficult, and studies have shown that the resulting pain and[…]

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US Ambassador To India, Mr. Richard Verma & Family, Visits Wildlife SOS Centers

The United States Ambassador to India, Mr. Richard Verma, and his wonderful family stopped by the Agra Bear Rescue Facility and Elephant Conservation and Care Centre on Sunday to spend an entire day with the rescued animals on site. The Ambassador and his family started their visit by meeting the staff at the Agra Bear Rescue Facility and taking a […]

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The Life & Plight Of Captive Elephants In Jaipur Serving As Joyrides To Tourists

Amer Fort,a popular tourist attraction in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan is known for its breathtaking palaces, forts, ambience and scenic beauty. The fort is set high atop a hill overlooking the city and stands as a proud reminder of the building skills of yesteryears. One can either walk up the hill or take elephant rides to the fort, the latter[…]

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Suzy’s New Life At ECCC

Suzy is a blind performing elephant that has suffered a lot of neglect at the circus where she was forced to perform. She was chained most of the time with little or no exercise. Suzy is approximately 60 years old and it is evident from her stereotypic behavior that she was subjected to mental torture and continuous chaining & confinement.[…]

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Wildlife SOS Celebrates A Splendid Wildlife Week At Bhopal

Wildlife SOS celebrated a Wildlife Week in collaboration with the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department at the Van Vihar National Park, Bhopal, from October 1 to October 7, 2014; an effort by the Delhi based non-charity organization to sensitize the people of Bhopal about the diverse wildlife they co-exist with. The State Forest Minister of Madhya[…]

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Rozie and her sister!!

By Aishuwarya Sudarshan It was a very cold day at the gardens of Srinagar, in Kashmir; the gardeners were working in the grounds, raking out fallen leaves around the tulips, the famous tulips of the Cheshmashahi gardens to which thousands of tourists flocked each day with their cameras and appreciative exclamations. The horticulture department of […]

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Transformations make the world a better place!!!

By Aishuwarya Sudarshan Wildlife SOS had promised the head of the Astanpura village, which is located in the Brane-Nishat conservation reserve that they would deliver some First Aid Kits in the village, because of the causalities caused by wild animals. It wasn’t the first time we had visited the village; last time we were there we bumped […]

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Innocent Leopards and Brutal Humans – A Leopard Tragedy outside Delhi

Its hard to accept that we belong to a species “humans” that is the most destructive of all species. As evidence of this we have the sad and brutal massacre of an innocent Leopard in Faridabad, just outside Delhi–the National Capital that made the mistake of sitting on a tree !This brutal and mindless attack and the high levels[…]

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GRRR… it hurts! – Bangalore Mirror

In a pioneering effort, a five-member team of surgeons performs a six-hour dental surgery to ease the pain on two tigers from Bannerghatta National Park a team of five surgeons needed close to six hours and plenty of courage to complete a root canal on a patient. They exchanged hi-fives, sported wide grins and were thrilled. What’s the big[…]

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Van Vihar Bear Rescue Facility

The creation of the third Bear Rescue Centre in India, in collaboration with the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department fructifies Wildlife SOS' attempt to put an end to the cruel practice of dancing bear in the state. Our third Bear Rescue Centre in Central India started in the Van Vihar National Park, Bhopal is now home to 17 ex-dancing bears. These[…]

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Dignity and Freedom for Man and Animal

On 28 December 2008, 52 rehabilitated kalandar families took firm steps forward to create richer and better lives for themselves. It was a very promising day for wildlife conservation in India as the entire Kalandar community in Naya Basera, Bhopal renewed their pledge to empower themselves with help and support from Wildlife SOS. With support[…]

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