German envoy visits Wildlife SOS elephant care centre in Mathura


Agra, July 8 : German Ambassador to India, Walter J. Lindner visited the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation & Care Centre in Mathura on Wednesday for a conservation education tour and met the rescued elephants under lifetime care and treatment at the centre. He also extended his support to the NGO's 'Refuse to Ride' campaign which draws attention to the plight of Asian elephants in India. Lindner is also a professional musician who has composed over five records and has previously served as the German Ambassador in Kenya, Seychelles, Venezuela, and South Africa. Being an avid animal lover, he spent time observing the resident pachyderms, all of whom have been given a second chance at a life free of abuse and cruelty. He was impressed by the scientific and humane elephant management techniques adopted by Wildlife SOS such as positive conditioning and target training. This was followed by an interactive session with the Wildlife SOS team of elephant care staff and veterinarians to learn about their efforts to help these animals have a better, healthier future at the centre and understand the threats that Asian elephants face in India. He was deeply moved upon hearing the heartbreaking stories of the elephants and the trauma that they endured in the past. Lindner also visited India's first and only Elephant Hospital which was established by Wildlife SOS and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department in 2018. At the hospital, he learnt about the serious health issues in captive elephants and the efforts taken by their expert veterinary team to treat injured, sick and geriatric elephants. He concluded his visit with an observational walk with two elephants named 'Maya' and 'Phoolkali' at the Yamuna riverbanks. Lindner, said, "It was really heartwarming to see these elephants being cared for and loved by the Wildlife SOS staff. I would recommend everyone to come here and see these majestic animals. You can see what cruelty had been inflicted upon them in the past so let's strive to prevent it from happening in India and anywhere around the world. I am happy to extend my support to Wildlife SOS." Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder & CEO of Wildlife SOS, said, "It is a great honour for Wildlife SOS to have the German Ambassador to India, Mr Walter J. Lindner extending his support to the cause of elephant protection. Our goal at Wildlife SOS is to engage with the public about conservation education while also providing rescued elephants a second chance at life. We hope for his continued support for the cause." Baiju Raj M.V., Director Conservation, Projects, Wildlife SOS, said "At Wildlife SOS, we try our best to give the elephants a life of freedom, good health and companionship, and a chance to be elephants again. India is the last stronghold for the Asian elephant population of the world and it is critically important to conserve and protect this majestic species." /IANS


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