Asim has worked at Wildlife SOS’ Elephant Conservation and Care Centre for five years, since the rescue of his elephant, Maya. Over the years, we’ve noticed Aseem grow as an individual and seen the special bond he shares with Maya intensify and strengthen. We thought we’d ask him a little bit about his and Maya’s journey with Wildlife SOS.
What made you choose to join Wildlife SOS?
Before coming to work for Wildlife SOS, I was a mahout to a female elephant named Maya. In 2010, Maya was rehabilitated at Wildlife SOS’ Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, and I was offered the job of staying with her and continuing to look after her and the other elephants at the centre. I wanted to be with Maya, so I agreed. When I saw the work being done at ECCC, I loved it, and decided I would stay on.
What do you do as an elephant keeper at ECCC?
Being a keeper is a lot of work, especially with the number of animals in our care. I clean enclosures, make sure the animals are fed properly and bathe them. I also set up enrichments for them so that they can keep feeding during the night. I also interact with volunteers and visitors when they come to the centres, and take the elephants for walks.
What is the best part of your job?
I like working with animals, particularly elephants. I have loved elephants ever since I started working with Maya and this has just increased since I came to work at ECCC. There’s nothing I don’t love about being around them. Maya is a very large female elephant and she can be very stubborn so I have to coax her to be good when visitors are around. Luckily she loves me and trusts me.
What is the hardest part of your job?
There isn’t anything I dislike about my job. It’s very rewarding work and I really enjoy what I get to do.
Who is your favourite among the animals you have worked with?
Naturally, I have a soft spot for Maya. I joined Wildlife SOS because of her, and we’ve been together for longer than I remember. She’s such an affectionate elephant and the bond I share with her is extremely special- she follows me wherever I go.
Tell us about your experience working with Wildlife SOS?
I’d always worked with elephants, but since coming here I’ve learnt a lot more about them and how to care for them. I’ve seen an immensely positive change in Maya since our arrival here, and that has been really wonderful to witness. In the circus she was very quiet and showed no interest in anything.