Top 10 Animal Rescues of the Year 2014

January 12, 2015 | By dw
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This past year has been an eventful one. We have achieved many victories and conducted successful rescue operations in an attempt to conserve wildlife and educate people on how to deal with wildlife encounters. To coexist with wildlife peacefully is a virtue as human development progressively encroaches on wildlife habitat which in turn increases conflicts between wildlife and the people. As we move into 2015, here is a roundup of our top ten most memorable rescues:

1. Raju


The elephant whose tears captured the hearts of millions. He was held in captivity for more than 50 years by different abusive owners, bled from spiked shackles and was forced to live on handouts by tourists. Wildlfie SOS managed to recued Raju at midnight on the 4th of July. He was seen to be shedding tears of joy when he was freed as iff he knew the life of chains and beatings were behind him. He was extremely happy in his new abode till a new threat emerged two months later when his former owner filed court papers to reclaim him. However, due to the people’s support and prayers, the judge ruled in our favor and he was declared free to live out his life at the Wildlife SOS’s elephant haven.

2. Reptilian rescues


An 11 feet long Indian rock python was discovered along the Delhi-Noida-Delhi flyover by a security guard managing the toll booth on the highway. Lying on the road shoulder 500 meters after crossing DND toll plaza, it had somehow crossed the busy highway without being injured. The officials immediately contacted us and with help from the forest department, we safely rescued the python.

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In another area of Delhi, a 4 foot long cobra was rescued by the Wildlife SOS rescue team, where it had taken refuge in the SBI ATM entrance gate. He was gently guided into the snake bag by the experienced WSOS snake handlers. After a medical examination, the snake was found to be fit and has been released back into its natural habitat.

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In Tughlakabad, the monsoon of 2014 brought a six foot long python to the Air Force Station. It was found, trying to get some relief from the deluge by hiding in the Air Force Station. The officials immediately reported the sighting to Wildlife SOS rescue team who rushed to the location. They managed to gently restrain the reptile which was terrified of the crowd of onlookers and hid under the table in an attempt to protect itself. After a necessary medical examination, the large reptile was found to be fit and has been released back into its natural habitat.

Experts feel the state government must protect urban wildlife in the state. Rampant construction which is taking place is bringing wild animals closer to human habitation.

3. Lilly


Lilly is a 35 year old female elephant who was freed from her shackles from Sirsa district in Haryana. Her days were spent in misery as she was beaten and forced to beg on streets, merely surviving on what she received from begging. She was confiscated by the Haryana Forest Department when the man who was using her failed to produce ownership certificate and other legal documents.  When she arrived at our Haryana elephant center, she was in a poor health and suffering from wounds and psychological trauma. After over a month with us, she had settled very well in her new home and has bonded with the other female elephants.

4.    Swati bear & her cub


Swati is a wild sloth bear who was found in a pit along with her baby cub, where a village adjoined a forested patch in Central Karnataka. She had a deep wound on her left forearm and multiple gunshot wounds, but the baby was unhurt although traumatized. She was in a great deal of pain and had to be tranquilized in order to rescue her. Necessary treatments were immediately administered to prevent shock, dehydration and collapse. Swati and her cub were brought to BBRC in Bannerghatta where the cub was given to a foster mother bear as Swati was unable to care for him due to injuries. Presently, the cub is doing fairly well and spends time playing with his new friend, another cub, in his new home. Swati has undergone two major surgeries and since she is very weak to return to the wild, we have housed her in the night den so she can be closer to her cub.

5.      Civet cat


A Civet cat is a small mammal that looks like a cross between a mongoose and a cat. The civet cat had strayed into the Parliament building looking for shelter from the rains. Wildlife SOS rescue team rushed to rescue the mammal that was hiding behind the television set in the visitor’s room after a huge panic attack was had by all.  It was released back into its natural habitat after necessary observation procedures. It was heartening to see concern for urban wildlife and the civet in question, cut across party borders on all sides.

6.     Leopard-cub reunion

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This year the Wildlife SOS team from Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center, Maharashtra has helped rescue and rehabilitate two leopard cubs in separate parts of Maharashtra. In Narayangaon, a 3 month old cub was found in a sugarcane field by a farmer. After rescuing the cub, he was examined and was found to be in excellent health with no sign of any injuries.  Later, they decided to reunite the cub with his mother as they felt it was important that a chance be given to the cub to be raised naturally.


Another incident involved a 6 month old female cub who managed to fall into a well in Otur Village, Pune. The rescue team had to lower a crate of food to coax the cub to jump into the crate and safely pull her out. Although shivering from cold, she was found to be physically fit and was released back near the well the same night. Shortly after the mother came and took her cub, much to the delight of the WSOS team watching from a dstance.

7.      Egyptian vulture


Wildlife SOS rescued and released an Egyptian vulture from Ganderbal district in Jammu & Kashmir. The bird falls in the critically endangered category (IUCN) and Wildlife Protection Act 1972. It was frightened and severely injured when the WSOS rescue team found it in the store room of a house. The X-ray reports revealed that the bird had no broken wings and its chances of flight were good provided some initial medical assistance was given. After the rescue centre officials in Dachigam made sure the vulture was fully recovered and gained its ability to fly, it was set free back into the wild.

8.      Rescue of crocodiles and turtles


In the fall of 2014, a 4ft long crocodile was rescued from Rajmahal in Gujarat by Wildlife SOS in collaboration with GSPCA (Gujarat Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Upon sighting the crocodile, the panic-stricken officials at the Mahal immediately alerted the rescue team who ordered them not to disturb the reptile and keep everyone out of the compound. The WSOS rescue team with GSPCA, after a long search, found the crocodile hidden under some bushes. Although clearly afraid of the onlookers, it was found to be physically fit and was released back into its habitat the same night.

In a joint operation carried out by Wildlife SOS, Delhi Wildlife Department, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and Delhi Police, 27 endangered soft shelled turtles were seized from poachers near the Badarpur bus stand. The turtles were to be killed for meat which is consumed under the mythical belief that it has aphrodisiac properties. After receiving information about the poachers’ whereabouts, the authorities proceeded for the rescue operation and rescued all the turtles. They were found to be in perfect health and have been released back to their habitat.

9.      Nilgai from Nizampur


A Nilgai was rescued from Nizampur, Delhi-NCR by the Wildlife SOS rescue team. The young one was caught by wild dogs and inflicted with several injuries. She was frightened by the traumatic experience and had to undergo a major surgery at the Wildlife SOS hospital. Presently, she is kept under observation until fit enough to be released back into her natural habitat.

10.      Bear cub rescued from Dachigam


In a crucial rescue operation, an 8 week old male bear cub was rescued near Dachigam National Park in Srinagar. The cub had taken refuge on a tree top surrounded by houses and paddy fields out of fear and panic.  Wildlife SOS team and Wildlife Protection Department officials facilitated the rescue operation and helped retrieve the frightened cub safely from atop the tree. The cub was raised at the Rescue Centre for Black Bears run by WSOS as no one could find out what happened to its mother.

Whether it’s by supporting us in our campaigns, making donations and sponsorships or volunteering with us, you can make a
difference for our wildlife every single day. It’s been a fabulous year overall- All thanks to your never ending support and wishes! Together we can continue to save these wonderful species as every bit helps! Wildlife SOS Hotline 9871963535 works round the clock to help wildlife in distress.

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