Our work with the captive and wild elephants of India
The survival of the elephant in India is critical to the survival of the entire species in Asia. Home to almost 60% of Earth’s remaining Asian elephant population, India is plagued with a lack of awareness and education which is leading to the persistent enslavement of these majestic animals for tourism, manual labor, performances, processions, entertainment and street begging.
Wildlife SOS leads efforts to protect wild elephant populations in India, as well as rescue, treat and care for elephants exploited in the abusive tourism and “begging elephant” industries. We specifically address the problem of injured and sick elephants that are forced to work in slums and crowded cities. Our aim is to reach out and help the elephants that are blind, elderly, wounded, malnourished and dehydrated or those being used illegally and commercially under deprived conditions.
It is important to note that most captive elephants in India are owned illegally, and strict enforcement of laws is needed to end illegal trafficking of elephants. Our Wildlife SOS sanctuaries allow laws to be enforced because they give authorities a home for these seized and rescued elephants.
In 2018, Wildlife SOS established India’s very first Elephant Hospital. This was truly a historic milestone for injured and ailing elephants throughout India, who can now get the care and love they need in a state-of-the-art facility. The hospital is capable of conducting important laboratory tests and treatments for the elephants including wireless digital radiological capabilities, ultrasound, laser therapy, an in-house pathology lab, and a medical hoist for comfortably lifting disabled elephants. There is also a digital weighing scale, a protected-contact elephant restraining device, a hydrotherapy pool, and quarantine enclosures. All of this will enable regular check-ups as well as out-of-routine treatments and urgent after-rescue care.