Deep in Mathura, Northern India, resides the Wildlife SOS Conservation & Care Center, an elephant sanctuary where more than 20 rescued elephants live. The animals at Wildlife SOS have sad stories; many of them are victims of illegal trafficking, captivity and exploitation – rendering them blind and lame. Most are on the mend psychologically and physically.
“The rescued elephants under rehabilitation at Wildlife SOS have been rescued from shocking circumstances,” explained Geeta Seshamani, Secretary and Co-founder of the organization, in a press statement. “We aim to provide them with a safe habitat where they can live like elephants.”
Today, the rescued elephants have found peace at Wildlife SOS where they are cared for by a dedicated team of veterinarians and staff who are determined to give these gentle giants a loving, happy home in which to live out their days. In the midst of a frigid winter, the team at Wildlife SOS are grabbing worldwide attention by creating cozy jackets to keep their residents warm.
“It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse, making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia,” said Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO of Wildlife SOS. “The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with.”
As tourists become savvy to the negative impacts of animal tourism, it is sanctuaries like Wildlife SOS that are rapidly gaining recognition for their good work. Rather than pay to ride an elephant (an activity that can have debilitating effects on the animal) travelers are seeking ethical ways to enjoy animals and support their care.
As adorable as elephants wearing jackets are, the bigger takeaway here is the dedication to conservation and the lengths people are willing to go to protect these animals.
To donate to Wildlife SOS, visit their page here.