Most travellers and visitors understandably flock to Agra to savour the magnificence of the Taj Mahal.
We were seeking a contrast from architecture and forts and extremely surprised that so few people – including our hotel – knew about the Wildlife S.O.S Elephant Conservation and Care Center just half an hour by car from Agra, discovering it via Trip Advisor during our Xmas and New Year travels in India.
The center was launched in 2010 in partnership with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department to rehabilitate elephants in captivity who have been subject to horrendous abuse.
Upsetting and uplifting in equal measures, the facility is a haven and hospital for these magnificent animals whose former wretched lives would bring tears to the most hardened of hearts.
Enjoying their new found freedom with a plethora of TLC from vets and volunteers, many of the elephants have their own mahoots for whom the center also provides food and shelter for.
The vision, passion and commitment of founders Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani is stamping out the ‘dancing bears’ practice which demoralises the elephants mentally and physically – leaving them scarred for life. The volunteers are remarkable and the facility deserves continued success.
Please help by promoting this pioneering facility. When visiting wear flat shoes and hats and bring plenty of water.
Find out more about the center’s wonderful work at “www.wildlifesos.org”:http://www.wildlifesos.org