By Anna Vallery
Wildlife SOS is doing the amazing things they promised in 2015! Over the holidays, this New Delhi based NGO announced their plan to save 67 elephants from terrible conditions in circuses across India. The use of elephants in circuses has been banned in India since 2013, but many of the elephants have not yet been relocated – so Wildlife SOS is on a mission to rescue these elephants.
Breaking their plan down into phases, Wildlife SOS set into action to save the first 17 elephants, including Suzy. Suzy’s case was a terrible one, and was prioritized because of her extreme health issues.
“Suzy is blind. She is forced to live in an unkempt place, which is filled with dung and urine, for days,” says said Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of Wildlife SOS. ”Her dental health is severely compromised as indicated by undigested food in her dung. We were shocked to see her pathetic condition.”
According to Wildlife SOS, Suzy is also mentally and physically ill as a result of these bad conditions. She’s lived with little exercise and no enrichment. Through it all, Suzy was forced to continue working.
But Wildlife SOS is wasting no time in getting their plans into action. Suzy was finally rescued at the beginning of the month, and is in transit to an elephant sanctuary in Mathura, India where she will get medical attention, the freedom to roam, and all the love and appreciation she deserves. The team escorting her says that she is doing very well and loves to snack on bananas and grass during the rest stops. Suzy and her team have already traveled 500 kilometers and are well on their way to arriving at Suzy’s new home.
Suzy’s rescue was completely funded by donations. Wildlife SOS estimates that the first phase of this huge project, the rescue of Suzy and the other 16 elephants, will cost about $1.8 million, or $110,000 per elephant. This amount will not only cover legal costs in the rescue, but the investigation, transport and rescue mission along with settling the elephants into their new homes.
“And with the help of caring people across the world and the government’s cooperation, Suzy along with more than a dozen elephants will be rescued from the gloomy circus life in 2015,” Seshamani said earlier this year.
If you are interested in following Suzy’s story and progress, follow Wildlife SOS on Facebook. If you are interested in donating to this amazing cause, you can visit their Crowd Rise page here.