Wildlife Spotting in Wildlife SOS Agra Tour: 5 Things to KnowDoes your heart cry in grief to see animals in distress? Or do people’s apathy towards animals and the heart-wrenching stories of what these animals go through, move you to the core? Or you want to volunteer in a program where you can make some contribution to their well-being or sensitize yourself and others, about their appalling conditions? Head to Agra. The Wildlife SOS facility in Agra houses elephants and sloth bears rescued from grueling conditions, rehabilitated and taken care of here. For those who want to book a tour here or volunteer can visit the Wildlife SOS Website. A go-to spot if you are in and around Agra.
Wildlife SOS, Agra - Bear Rescue FacilityAgra bear rescue facility is the largest in the world, with over 200 sloth bears. Not only the facility rescues and rehabilitates sloth bears and elephants, but it does all in its means to make sure that the old practices are done away with. Many people in the region were relying on dancing bear shows for their livelihood. Wildlife SOS, Agra not only rescued the bears but provided the tribe other ways of respectful and legal alternative livelihoods which also ensured the safety of bears. Great and thoughtful work indeed!
What Can You See
The team has an impressive in-house veterinary hospital where the animals are treated with love and care. A movie showcasing their incredible rescue work is also shown. There is a little, well-kept café and a goodies shop that sells items like bags, small decorative items, t-shirts, carved items, fridge magnets, and other souvenir items made by the local artisans.
How Does It Run — DonationsThe NGO is being run entirely on the donation collected by Wildlife SOS. The entry fee collected by the Forest Department does not go to fund the activity. The money is raised by donations and the earnings from the souvenir shops and the café. The volunteers do a great job of educating the interested in informative conversations with bear experts. A donation of Rs. 1,500 is requested for the receipt and is totally at the discretion of the visitor. The funds thus generated go towards the feeding and medical care of the rescued bears and to buy more land to provide them with enough room.
Elephant SanctuaryWaking into open fields helps rescued animals stay healthy and they love it a lot. India’s only elephant hospital at the Elephant Conservation & Care Center is also run by the Wildlife SOS. There are over 20 rescued elephants housed in a separate facility around 15 min drive from the bear sanctuary. The elephants are taken very good care of. They go for a walk two times and day. The afternoon is a good time to visit as the elephants return from their morning walk around this time of the day and are easily visible. There is a café in the elephant sanctuary too and it is felt in another world to enjoy your cup of evening coffee in dense jungles with elephants passing by. The passion of the volunteers is apparent, palpable and inspiring.
It is a great experience to see how some people are so engaged in caring for an animal with all their might and soul. An activity that cannot repay them monetarily but lends an immense sense of satisfaction. In total, the Wildlife SOS Agra tour is recommended to all animal lovers who want to learn about the animals and make a difference to the lives of these elephants and sloth bears. Those who feel empathy, are interested in wildlife conservation and rehabilitation, or feel drawn towards nature and want to contribute by volunteering, are most welcome here.
Visiting Wildlife SOS in Agra is an enriching and life-changing experience to help the NGO in this self-less activity. The volunteers are so passionate about their work that they know the very enlightening background stories of all the elephants and tell you about each of them. If you are interested in volunteer activities, you can book it through the Wildlife SOS website. This place will surely leave you in a self–introspection mode.
Points to Note:• Comfortable shoes and clothes are a must to enjoy this facility on foot.
• It is good to ask the volunteers before going as to what to bring along for and the information on allowed and not allowed items.
• The souvenir shops put no pressure to buy anything.
• Both elephant and bear sanctuaries have a small snack shop selling tidbits.
• The elephants and bears are rescued and rehabilitated here. Expecting a ride or dance or any form of entertainment is out of place.
The Wildlife SOS Agra has a character of its own and a value-system. Something very distinct from the routines we are living daily. This place is highly recommended if you are bored of seeing all the temples, palaces and forts of India and would rather have some feelings stirred up. If you can, feel free to support this noble cause.Timings: Sunrise to Sunset
Slots of two hours are given to each traveler.
Admission Fee: Indians: Rs. 50, Foreigners: Rs. 500