As human population and habitat grows and spreads, the space for wildlife shrinks. Smaller mammals like deer or wild boar have a better chance of surviving, but what about wild elephants? Where do they go?
The situation is grim and heart-breaking: every day one hears of elephants being run over by trains, shot at by poachers, hounded by farmers trying to protect their crops or teased and bullied by young men looking for thrills.
To make matters worse, traditional elephant corridors are interrupted by new highways, railway lines and the urban sprawl. Earlier, elephants would cross the Mechi River near Nuxalbari and move into the forests of Nepal, returning to India further west at Uttar Pradesh. But, Nepal has now built an electric fence and elephants are driven back to the Indian side.
Hathi= Elephant, Sathi= Friend.
Nuxalbari falls bang in the middle of a new corridor as elephants roam back and forth looking for food. We do not fear them. On the contrary we welcome them and aspire to provide sanctuary to them, so that they can rest.
We have developed a program to educate and sensitise youth at the estate. Unlike our neighbours, we gain an understanding of what it is to be for a herd of elephants to be hounded and constantly face violence wherever they go. We make a commitment to desist from violence, and to protect herds from violence when they enter our estate.
We know they are here only for a few hours, and we want their time to be peaceful and happy.
We have an ambitious program to rewild part of our estate and grow forage for the elephants so that they feel less inclined to raid neighbouring fields for paddy.
We welcome volunteers, wildlife experts, teachers, youth program coordinators and donors to join us. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org detailing how you would like to help.