Living with Elephants: Solutions from the Chhattisgarh Wild Elephant Project

In the 1920s amidst the myriad of political, social, and cultural changes India was experiencing, a peculiar yet integral occurrence happened in the heart of the subcontinent - the elephants of central India disappeared! The cause of this disappearance remains unknown but is attributed to anthropogenic pressures such as rapid deforestation. The[…]

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Updates From The Field: Chhattisgarh

Wildlife SOS with the assistance of the Chhattisgarh Forest Department, successfully radio-collared the matriarch of a wild elephant herd in Mahasamund area of Chhattisgarh in the year 2018. With the help of the radio-collar, we were able to establish and Early Warning Alert System (EWAS) in the surrounding areas to avert situations of[…]

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Updates From The Field: Chhattisgarh

Wildlife SOS with the assistance of the Chhattisgarh Forest Department, successfully radio-collared the matriarch of a wild elephant herd in Mahasamund area of Chhattisgarh in the year 2018. With the help of the radio-collar, we were able to establish and Early Warning Alert System (EWAS) in the surrounding areas to avert situations of conflict.[…]

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Update From The Field: Chhattisgarh

With an expanse of dry, deciduous forest intertwined with evergreen sal and peepal trees, the breathtaking landscape of Chhattisgarh serves as the ideal habitat for a thriving wild elephant population. The forest ecosystem also supports a healthy sloth bear population due to the rocky terrain and natural caves that provide shelter from[…]

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Unpacking The Challenges at Chhattisgarh Wild Elephant Project

Before the late 1980s, elephants had all but disappeared from the state of Chhattisgarh. There were large swathes of forests in the neighbouring southern Jharkhand and northern Odisha, which acted as a safe haven for the elephants. As such, migration to the state of Chhattisgarh was rarely recorded. However, the elephants were merely living over a […]

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Chhattisgarh Wild Elephant Collaring Project: An attempt to collar the Tuskers

Last year during the rainy month of September, the Wildlife SOS team was provided with the perfect field conditions that enabled them to successfully radio-collar Van Devi, the matriarch of 16 wild elephants. The radio-collaring of the matriarch was a part of a long-term strategy that Wildlife SOS team has been developing to mitigate the[…]

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Collaring Van Devi, the matriarch at Chhattisgarh Wild Elephant Project

During the hot, sultry summer month of June, a team of experts from Wildlife SOS and the Chhattisgarh Forest Department comprising of field biologists, elephant trackers, veterinary staff and forest rangers arrived to defuse an extremely tense situation at the villages of Mahasamund, Chhattisgarh. The gravity of the task awaiting them was no[…]

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Update On The Chhattisgarh Wild Elephant Project

At dusk, the elephants come. Two large bulls soundlessly enter the paddy fields and begin wandering through the standing crop, their powerful trunks breaking large bales of the crop at its stalk and stuffing it into their mouths. Underfoot, the massive weight of their bodies crush through the crop that they do not eat. A member of the Wildlife[…]

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Radio-Collaring Training For The Wild Elephant Project In Chhattisgarh

As part of our ongoing human-elephant conflict mitigation project in the north Indian state of Chhattisgarh in collaboration with the state Forest Department, we plan on tracking the movements of one particular herd through radio telemetry, the first step of which is naturally to radio collar the three pivotal elephants – the matriarch of the[…]

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Q & A For The 19 Wild Elephants In Chhattisgarh Project

1.)  How will putting on collars help reduce the conflict and keep the elephants safe? Putting satellite collars on the elephants allows our team of trackers to more effectively track the elephants' movements and map out their behaviour. This allows us to predict potential conflict before it occurs, and provide an early warning to the Rapid[…]

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Freedom To Roam For 19 Wild Elephants In Chhattisgarh

Nestled in the river basin of the mighty Mahanadi river, the district of Mahasamund has found itself faced with a unique and complicated dilemma. The region had not seen any wild elephants till a few years ago, when not one, but nineteen elephants wandered into the area and decided to make it their home. The elephants were faced with unfamiliar[…]

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4 Ways How Wildlife Conservation Is Linked With Human Rights!

It’s easy to forget how much our own survival depends on the protection of the natural world. Our very existence is intrinsically linked to forests and animals. From snakes that control our rodent population, mighty elephants that fertilise the soil with their dung, to glaciers that provide us with safe drinking water — without a healthy[…]

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Mahua: India’s Most Intoxicating Tree Attracts Man And Animal

During the summer and spring seasons in the dry tropical forests of India, a particular tree blooms. Its flowers, fruits and leaves fill the forest with an irresistible scent that lures humans and animals alike. Sloth bears, elephants, deer, fruit bats and Langurs feast on its fruits and flowers. With its alcoholic properties, the leaves and[…]

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Volunteer Groups To Combat Conflict With Wild Elephants

Imagine that you are travelling on a dimly lit road in the middle of the night. The veil of clouds has completely covered the light from the moon and stars, and there are hardly any street lamps along the road to light your path. You hear a rustling sound from the trees and bushes that line the sides of the road when suddenly, you confront a wild […]

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Festival of Lights Brings A Dark Time For Owls In India

Popularly known as the ‘festival of lights’, Diwali marks the beginning of a new year in the Hindu calendar. People all around India celebrate the festival by lighting lamps, exchanging gifts, distributing sweets, and worshipping Goddess Lakshmi. According to Hindu mythology, the Goddess uses an owl, specifically the Barn owl, as her vehicle, […]

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Introducing The Subspecies Of Asian Elephants

The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is the largest mammal living on the land of Asia, and occupies the Southern and Southeastern parts of the continent. This species ranges from northern India to the southern tip of the Sumatran islands. While its African cousins are slightly larger in size and have discernable physical characteristics, Asian[…]

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Introducing The Indian Softshell Turtle

Today, of the 350 turtle species in the world, nearly half of them are endangered. With earliest fossils dating back to almost 220 million years ago – to the period of dinosaurs – turtles are the oldest living reptile group to exist currently. These reptiles play a crucial role in the natural world. In the food web, they act as predators, but […]

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Tales Of Elephants From Two Continents

This is the story of two different kinds of elephants roaming two separate continents. Today, there are three surviving elephant species — the African Savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana), the African Forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) and the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). If we trace their origin, the prehistoric ancestors of these[…]

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ACF Officer Trainees’ Field Visit To ABRF

Recently, a group of Assistant Forest Conservator (ACF) officer trainees from the Central Academy for State Forest Service, Coimbatore visited the Wildlife SOS Agra Bear Rescue Facility (ABRF). A total of 43 officer trainees came from six different states — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Chhattisgarh. All […]

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A Conservationist’s Guide To Wildlife Tracking

If you find yourself in an unfamiliar area, you can simply approach a passerby or open up a map app to ask for directions. Despite the language barrier or cultural differences, there is always a chance that you can be guided to your destination. What do you do in a situation where humans cannot help you and Google maps fail to be of much use?[…]

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GIS: A Vital Tool In The Field Of Wildlife

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) refers to a computer system that collects geographical information and allows us to analyse these spatial datasets. GIS is widely used in map-oriented mobile phone applications that enable us to order food, check traffic data or to navigate. Constantly updated information via GIS assists in long-term weather[…]

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Staff Profile: Swaminathan Shamugavelu

The unflappable demeanor,  infectious laughter, and optimistic spirit of Mr. Swaminathan Shamugavelu belie the arduous tasks he tackles every day as a wildlife biologist at Wildlife SOS. Mr. Swaminathan has ventured into the dense forests of Chhattisgarh to radio collar a wild elephant, traversed rocky terrains to study sloth bears, and[…]

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World Turtle Day 2022: Threats To The Testudine

Webbed limbs and super-tough shells - turtles sure are one of the most charismatic creatures on our planet. They can be found in a myriad of habitats ranging from deep seas to dense evergreen forests. An individual can grow up to six feet in length, and some can even swim over 37,000 kilometers!   Turtles belong to the group of[…]

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Rescue Ready for the Wild And Injured

Every day at Wildlife SOS is a new and unpredictable ride, especially for the field team that is always working in close proximity to various species that inhabit our country! One moment Wildlife SOS veterinarians could be going through the diet plan for the resident bears at the Agra Bear Rescue Facility, and in the next they could be[…]

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Decoding The Human-Sloth Bear Conflict In Karnataka

India is home to the world’s four bear species - the Himalayan Brown Bear, Asiatic Black Bear, Sun Bear, and the more commonly found, Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus). Dispersed in patches throughout the mainland, sloth bears occupy a wide range of habitats like grasslands, scrublands, dry, and moist tropical forests. The species is distinguished[…]

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Get To Know Your Indian Bears!

From fairy tales like ‘Goldilocks and The Three Bears’ to stories like ‘The Jungle Book’, bears have made an appearance in literature and media throughout modern history. These are charismatic species and some of them are among the largest land animals on this planet. Today, we find a total of eight bear species in the world, out of which […]

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The Changing Landscape of ECCC: Milkweed, Neem, and a Whole Lot of Trees!

At every sunrise and every sunset, our resident elephants of ECCC embark on their daily walk towards an ethereal patch of land adjacent to our center. The chirps of various birds fill the air as our elephants step on the soft grass, walking amidst mesmerizing green trees, a variety of plants, and shrubs. This luscious land that our elephants[…]

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Giants Enslaved: The Decline Of Asian Elephants

Elephants have always been seen across various cultures as a symbol of strength and wisdom. The motif of the Asian elephant has been prevalent in mythology since time immemorial, with the giants featuring in art, poetry, steatite seals, and other items found in archaeological excavations. Despite being a fascinating species and a cultural[…]

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Five Things We are Most Proud of in 2021

In 2021 we have a lot to be proud of. Even though the pandemic created some new challenges, we were still able to move our campaigns forward in the interest of helping and conserving India’s wildlife. In summary, here are five areas that we are most proud of as an organization for 2021. SUPPORT THE LIFESAVING WORK OF WILDLIFE SOS #1 -[…]

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Staff Profile Of The Month – Dr. Ilayaraja

Hailing from the rich cultural heritage town of Puttukottai in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Ilayaraja Selvaraj has been an integral part of the Wildlife SOS family for the past 18 years. He is presently the Deputy Director of Veterinary Operations and Research at Wildlife SOS. Dr. Ilayaraja’s unmatched zeal and his larger-than-life attitude make him one of[…]

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Avoidance Behaviour: Wild Elephants

What to do when you encounter a wild elephant? Human-elephant conflict is on a steady rise, posing a serious threat to the lives of both humans and wild elephants in India. Wildlife SOS condemns the unfortunate incident in the Masinagudi area in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu where a wild bull elephant became a victim of human-elephant conflict and was[…]

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The Art of Coexisting: Grappling with Man-Animal Conflict

A most commonly observed phenomenon - man animal conflict - has been one of the biggest challenges to conservation efforts in the twenty-first century. For wildlife conservation organizations like Wildlife SOS, it is a frequent occurrence to chance upon such cases– countless animals like hyenas, elephants, leopards and bears have been rescued[…]

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Tracking Wildlife for Conservation Research: GPS vs. Telemetry Technologies

Wildlife biologists make use of two kinds of technology to study and track wildlife and birds, Radio-Telemetry and GPS (Global Positioning System). VHF Radio-telemetry (VHF = very high frequency) is older than GPS and has been used to study wildlife since the 1960s. This technology makes use of a transmitter and a receiver and requires field[…]

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Rampant Killing Of Elephants In India Must Be Prevented

India is a country rich in biodiversity and has a blend of cultures and a rich heritage that emphasizes the mythological importance of elephants that are prolific in Indian art, architecture, folklore and popular culture. Elephants are worshipped as avatars of the Elephant God “Lord Ganesh” but also, in ancient India they were used in battle[…]

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Sloth Bear Crashes Wedding Ends up Falling into a Well!

Chhattisgarh with its tropical dry deciduous forests along with patches of rocky terrain serves as a suitable habitat for the sloth bear population in the country. Rapid human encroachment into the scrub forests and settlements in the buffer area periphery has led to an increased number of man-animal conflict situations. Habitat degradation and[…]

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Workshop On Man-Animal Conflict Mitigation For Chhatisgarh Forest Dept.

Spread across the forested terrains of Central India, Chhattisgarh contains a major part of the sloth bear population of the country.  In recent years, the state has witnessed an increase in incidents of man-animal conflicts, predominantly problems relating to sloth bears. Animals like elephants, wild boar, nilgai and sloth bears often venture[…]

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A Photo Blog: Team WSOS Helps Avert Elephant Conflict in U.P.

01st March 2017 The District Forest Officer of Sonbhadra in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh reaches out to Wildlife SOS regarding an elephant that has strayed into the Renukoot division within his district. He identifies the elephant as a young bull, and suspects that it has ventured here from the neighbouring states of Chhattisgarh or[…]

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Wildlife SOS celebrates Wildlife Week

By Aishuwarya Sudarshan Wildlife SOS celebrated Wildlife Week this year with the usual pomp and enthusiasm as always in the past. Wildlife SOS team members in different parts of India organized and participated in awareness activities and events for wildlife sensitization. Awareness programs, documentary screening, nature walks and participation[…]

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Poachers arrested, skin seized and our fingers crossed!!!

By Aishuwarya Sudarshan Our Forest Watch team received a tip off about a few men in a remote district of Dhamtari, Chhattisgarh, who looked suspicious and were snooping around the village holding a parcel that looked a little fishy.   The district adjacent had a police station and with the help of Wildlife SOS a decoy was primed and was[…]

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Kalandar Rehabilitation efforts reach new high in Chattisgarh State

In an effort to ensure that the recently ended Dancing Bear practice has no reason to rear its ugly head, Wildlife SOS working closely with the District Collector of Bilaspur provided rehabilitation assistance to the last of the Kalandar families in Chorbatti village of Chattisgarh who surrendered their dancing bears to the State Forest[…]

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