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India, Mathura – Volunteering With Elephants – Wildlife SOS

Volunteer opportunities at the elephant and Sloth bear Wildlife SOS Rescue Facilities in Mathura, India. 

Wildlife SOS was established in 1995 by a small group of individuals inspired to start a movement and make lasting change to protect and conserve India’s natural heritage, forest and wildlife wealth. Today, the organisation has evolved to actively work towards protecting Indian wildlife, conserving habitat, studying biodiversity, conducting research and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for erstwhile poacher communities or those communities that depend on wildlife for sustenance.

Volunteering with Wildlife SOS, your time will be split between their Elephant Conservation & Care Centre (ECCC) and their Sloth Bear Rescue Facility (ABRF) near to Agra.

Volunteering at the Wildlife SOS Rescue Facilities will provide you with a truly rewarding experience, allowing you to gain a real insight into the organisation’s work with bears and elephants, all rescued from lives of abuse. The Bears were rescued by WSOS from a cruel life as Dancing Bears, the elephants from providing tourist rides, begging, temple and festival use.

You will be making a major contribution to the welfare of these animals. The majority of the programme fees go directly to the centres, thus providing a critical source of funding for their ongoing work. Working alongside the local community and the inspiring people who run Wildlife SOS truly is an opportunity of a lifetime!

No previous experience is required, but you will need to be willing and enthusiastic! The work at the centres is physically demanding at times and can be very hard work in the heat and dust. It is possible to do lighter duties, please feel free to contact them if you have concerns as to the programme’s suitability for you.

Some of the jobs you can expect to do for the elephants include: unloading of fruit and vegetables from the truck; weighing, washing and cutting up of food and distribution into each elephants bucket; cleaning out their pools and enclosures; filling hanging baskets with fodder (this is exercise for the elephants, both mentally and physically); weighing and delivering of fodder by cart to the various enclosures; painting enclosures; evening walk with the elephants and their caregivers.

Some of the jobs you can expect to do for the bears include: preparation of food; delivering, by cart to each bear’s den, their freshly made porridge; building enrichment platforms and structures; scrubbing/cleaning out the pools; painting enclosures.

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to India and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Support the Homeless with a holiday booking from Charitable Travel