Popular film star Disha Patani spent two days at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC) in Mathura and celebrated ‘World Environment Day’ by drawing attention to the plight of India’s jumbos.
During her visit to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, Disha Patani interacted with the Wildlife SOS team and gained valuable insights into the treatment routines implemented at the Elephant Hospital and care centre, which aims to provide essential care to elephants rescued from abusive working conditions. Disha Patani is primarily known for her work in the Hindi film industry and is recognised for her award winning films. Her Bollywood debut was the biopic M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story.
An avid animal lover, Disha passionately advocates her voice for the protection of animals and their welfare.
June 5th is celebrated as World Environment Day to raise awareness about the world’s environmental problems and urge people to take individual as well as collective action to help preserve the planet’s natural habitats. In India, the natural environments of Asian elephants are also under threat from various factors such as deforestation, causing degradation and destruction of their habitats.
In an effort to contribute to the fight to conserve Asian elephants, Disha Patani spent time at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura. She learnt about the heartbreaking stories of the elephants who were rescued from decades of mistreatment and cruelty, leaving them in a battered state.
The Bollywood star engaged in volunteering activities such chopping fruits and vegetables which were distributed to the resident elephants to give them their daily dose of nutrition. Brimming with energy, Disha also lent her hand in creating and distributing enrichments that keep elephants physically and mentally stimulated.
She even got a first-hand look at the state-of-the-art veterinary facilities available at India’s first and only Elephant Hospital which is run by Wildlife SOS in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest department. Here she observed the NGO’s veterinarians providing treatment such as laser therapy and foot care to one of the resident elephants.
The highlight of the actress’ trip, however, was accompanying the elephants on their evening walk. Wildlife SOS aims to create an environment as close to the elephants’ natural habitat where they can move across spacious fields adjacent to the centre, allowing them to navigate through the greenery.
Disha Patani said, “This has been one of the best days of my life where I’ve had a chance to witness the enormous effort invested by Wildlife SOS to provide medical care to the rescued elephants. Visiting India’s first Elephant Hospital and meeting the team has been an incredible experience. To understand the plight of India’s Elephant’s and the work of Wildlife SOS has been an incredible experience. I learnt that once captured from the wild, they can never go back again. I also learnt about the irreversible and permanent damage that riding an elephant does to its health and welfare. I hope people come and volunteer at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, and be a part of this fight to help conserve and protect India’s elephants.”
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO, Wildlife SOS said, “Celebrities like Disha Patani taking a stand for the protection and conservation of elephants will help spread awareness about their plight in India. It was encouraging to watch Disha helped in the care routine of the elephants and helped prepare the meals for Suzy, one of our senior blind elephants.”
Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder & Secretary, Wildlife SOS said, “At the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital, we do our best to give the elephants a life of freedom, health and companionship, and a chance to be elephants again. We hope that Disha’s visit will set an example for many and encourage more people to be active participants in the fight to protect nature.”
In 2010, Wildlife SOS and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department established the first of its kind Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura. Equipped with high class veterinary facilities, the centre is currently providing care and treatment for nearly 35 rehabilitated elephants, rescued from extremely terrible conditions such as performing in circuses, giving tourist rides, begging on the streets and being used in wedding processions.