Indian film and television actor Divya Seth Shah recently concluded a day-long visit to Wildlife SOS centres in Mathura and Agra, where she learnt about awareness initiatives on elephant and bear conservation. During her visit, Divya had the opportunity to explore the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, the Agra Bear Rescue Facility and the Elephant Hospital Campus, gaining first hand insights into the dedicated efforts of Wildlife SOS in rescuing and rehabilitating animals.

To begin with, Divya visited India’s first Elephant Hospital in Mathura. Here, she learned about the serious health issues faced by elephants rescued from captivity and witnessed the efforts of the NGO’s veterinary team in treating injured, sick, and geriatric elephants. During her visit to the hospital, Divya observed Ginger, a senior female elephant, undergoing routine medical treatments and laser therapy, in addition to seeing other resident elephants.

At the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, Divya was made familiar with the history of rescued elephants at the sanctuary. She witnessed how these pachyderms, once subjected to abuse and cruelty, were provided a second chance at life. Engaging in informative sessions with the organisation’s team of elephant care staff and veterinarians, Divya learnt about the critical challenges faced by Asian elephants in India.

The visit was concluded with a tour of the Agra Bear Rescue Facility, the world’s largest rescue centre for sloth bears. Here the actress learnt about the cruel ‘dancing’ bear practice through the stories of some of the resident bears. Additionally, Divya witnessed how Wildlife SOS resolved this practice and observed the new life given to nearly 100 sloth bears at the facility.

“I would urge all of you to visit India’s first ever elephant hospital and witness yourself how safely these elephants have been kept here. The team here provides them with the best treatment and diet, and they make sure that the elephants forget their tragic pasts. I would also urge you all to sign Wildlife SOS’ petition on train collisions, and through the story of Bani – a baby elephant who was rescued from a railway accident – make sure that our trains and railway tracks do not intrude on elephant corridors,” expressed Divya Seth Shah.

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO, Wildlife SOS said, “Divya’s decision to come to our facilities showcases her commitment to wildlife conservation, and her willingness to advocate for the welfare of elephants and bears. As a celebrity, using her voice to reach as many people as possible and raise awareness is extremely commendable.”

Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder and Secretary of Wildlife SOS, said, “We are extremely glad to host a well-known name such as Divya at our facilities. We hope that after her time here, she is leaving with valuable insight related to issues that bears and elephants face in India.”

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