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 the wild elephant population in India. We rescue, treat and care for elephants exploited in the abusive tourism and “begging elephant” industries. We work to end the plight of injured and sick elephants that are forced to work in unnatural conditions. 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 as 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. The hospital is also equipped with a protected-contact elephant restraining device, a digital weighing scale, a hydrotherapy pool, and quarantine enclosures. All of this enables regular check-ups, out-of-routine treatments and urgent after-rescue care as well.
In 2019, Wildlife SOS established India’s first Elephant Memorial to commemorate the elephants who lost their lives fighting the battle of brutality with every speck of strength that they possessed. The Elephant Memorial is a first of its kind in India, as we pledge to never forget the sacrifice of these gentle giants who laid down their lives after suffering at the hands of humanity. The elephants who are no longer here with us have taught us strength, resilience and bravery, and these lessons will never be forgotten, as they inspire us each moment of our lives and keep us driven in our spirit.
The memorial not only looks back upon the fallen soldiers, it also celebrates their healing journey with us. We look up to Luna, Lakhi, Gajraj, Bella, Mohan, Sita and Champa as their martyrdom keeps us united in spirit.