In 2009, India’s Central Zoo Authority mandated that all elephants living in zoos had to be moved to national parks and sanctuaries. Unfortunately, facilities to accommodate the displaced elephants do not yet exist.
My goal is to create an elephant care center prototype in India that can be easily replicated countrywide, ensuring that all zoo elephants can be relocated to more suitable environments.
Serious discussion for the development of Elephant Aid International’s first elephant care center (sanctuary) in India, which has been underway for many months, is in the final stages. A fabulous piece of land bordering a National Forest has been selected, complete with forests, pastures and ponds. It is a wonderful location for rescued elephants.
Last week, at our request, government officials toured the property. They asked questions about management and funding, voiced concerns about co-mingling of wild and captive elephants and requested follow-up information regarding our plans. All concerns were minor and easily addressed.
Although government endorsement is not a requirement for the creation of the elephant rescue center, enlisting government input will serve to strengthen relationships essential for a successful project. We are confident of an emerging rescue center reality! Stay tuned for future updates. We hope to confirm government endorsement within a few weeks.