German envoy visits elephant care centre in Mathura
Agra 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. He also extended his support to the NGO’s ‘Refuse to Ride’campaign which draws attention to the plight of Asian elephants in India.
The German diplomat is also a professional musician who has over five records to his credit and has previously served as ambassador in Kenya, Seychelles, Venezuela and South Africa.
Being an avid animal lover, Walter 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 heart-breaking stories of the elephants and the trauma that they endured in the past.
Lindner also visited the 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 of captive elephants and the efforts taken by the expert veterinary team to treat injured, sick and geriatric elephants. He concluded his visit with an observational walk with elephants, Maya and Phoolkali at the Yamuna riverbanks.
The envoy 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.”