Bollywood Actor Sidharth Malhotra visits Wildlife SOS Elephant Rescue Centre Today
Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra celebrated ‘Save the Elephant Day’ by spending the day with rescued and rehabilitated elephants at the Elephant Conservation & Care Center, run by wildlife conservation NGO Wildlife SOS in Mathura. The Mumbai-based film star extended his support to wildlife conservation & promoted awareness about the plight of Asian elephants in India.
Wildlife SOS co-founders Kartick Satyanarayan & Geeta Seshamani welcomed Sidharth Malhotra and showed him around the center. Being an ardent animal lover, he spent quality time with rescued elephants Laxmi, Maya & Phoolkali and fed them fresh fruits – bananas, sugarcane, and watermelon. He also observed the veterinarians at the rescue center providing treatment and foot care to the elephants and learning about the status of Asian elephants in India.
The highlight of the visit however was his interaction with Gajraj, the 70 year old tusker who was rescued from Satara, Maharashtra in June 2017 after Sidharth had bought attention to his plight through his social media platforms. He was used in temple processions for over 51 years and with advancing age, the elephant was found to be suffering from several medical issues like foot abscess, partial blindness etc. Gajraj is now under lifetime care and treatment at Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, which is home to over 20 elephants that were rescued from critical situations and are under rehabilitation now.
Several of these majestic animals have spent a majority of their lives doing hard work in harsh and cruel conditions, which in turn has taken a negative toll on them both physically and psychologically. Sidharth was deeply moved upon hearing the heart-breaking stories of these elephants and what they had endured before they were rescued by Wildlife SOS.
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO Wildlife SOS said “It’s very reassuring to see a distinguished actor like Sidharth Malhotra extend his support to the cause of elephant protection. This will help spread a conscious message about conservation and wildlife protection & draw attention to the plight of elephants in India. We hope for his continued support for the cause.”
Bollywood actor, Sidharth Malhotra, said, “Save The Elephant Day is a great initiative and Wildlife SOS is doing some fabulous work by saving the endangered species. It’s extremely essential for each one of us to do our bit and help save our animals.”
Geeta Seshamani, co-founder & Secretary Wildlife SOS said, “At Wildlife SOS, we try our best to give the elephants a life of freedom, health and companionship, and a chance to be elephants again. India is the last strong hold for the Asian elephant population where 50% of the remaining populations occur and it is critically important to conserve and protect this majestic species.”
Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are listed as ‘endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. India currently has a population of about 25,000-30,000 elephants out of which about 3,500 are captive elephants.
Wildlife SOS (WSOS) is a non-profit charity established in 1998 with the primary objective of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in distress across India. We actively run wildlife and nature protection projects to promote conservation, combat poaching & illegal wildlife trade. We work in partnership with the Government and indigenous communities to create sustainable livelihoods for erstwhile poacher communities. The Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center was established in 2010 & houses over 20 elephants with elephant care facilities.