Flanking the dense green jungles of the Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary, the Ch. Surinder Singh Elephant Rehabilitation Centre (ERC) is home to three of Wildlife SOS’ delightful rescued elephants. Our trio of lovely ladies- Erica, Ella and Lilly- can be seen here splashing about in their pools, going on long walks and snacking on their scrumptious treats at the centre, always thrilled to be in each other’s company.
This week, the gang of girls had a whole lot of visitors, as a group of students from Bilaspur’s New Happy Public School made their way to ERC to visit the elephants and learn more about the animals we care for and the work we do, while getting up close and personal with this group of ele-friends.
The group of 113 students was accompanied by four teachers and a counselor, who had a tough task maintaining order when the exhilarated children set foot in our sanctuary. The students began their visit at 09:30 am by meeting and interacting with our friendly elephants, who seemed equally excited to see so many happy children showering them with treats and affection. This interaction was accompanied by an interactive talk by Wildlife SOS staff member Ashish Batura, who told his enthralled audience all about these gentle giants and the work being done to save them.
This was followed by the talented group of students sitting around the centre, producing colourful artwork of the elephants and coming up with some great slogans for conservation and protection of wildlife. Erica, Ella and Lilly proved to be great muses, inspiring the young artists to paint some amazing posters.
Once they were done, their art supplies were put aside and they put their hands to good use planting saplings around the centre. The children seemed to have a lot of fun digging up the soft earth and putting in the saplings. Their excitement was enhanced by the knowledge that, once fully grown, these trees will form an intrinsic part of the environment of the elephants they had just made friends with.
The students left at the end of the day with a much better understanding of elephants and the problems they face in the wild; and with tired limbs but smiling faces.