I first laid eyes on an elephant when I volunteered at the Elephant Conservation and Care Center at Wildlife SOS in Mathura, India in August 2018.
I had never been so close to an elephant before. I felt the magic immediately and it was indescribable. I knew right then that rescuing elephants was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
At this sanctuary, they rescued and provided a haven for exploited and severely compromised elephants who once begged, worked in temples, tourist riding areas, circuses and other places where elephants could not be elephants. It was the first time that I had ever learned about the tragic life of a working elephant but also the promise of a sanctuary.
My heart was crushed by what I saw but ultimately inspired by the healing that took place in sanctuary. My heart was completely stolen and that’s when my passion for elephant conservation was born.
Since then I’ve been on an unstoppable journey to pursue what I call my “soul career,” learning all that I could about elephant conservation in Asian and African range countries while volunteering at different projects and sanctuaries. I could see how vital the volunteers were to the daily operations of a sanctuary, both through funding and labor.
My goal became helping anyone wanting to help elephants, in any way that I could, in even the smallest ways. While on this quest, I met Coranne. She told me all about NEWS and I was so excited for her sanctuary.
I’ll admit, I thought to myself, "I’d love to join her!" She introduced me to Sudha and I could see at once that the three of us were kindred spirits.
At last, my elephant-shaped heart had found its home. I am so happy to have found my herd at NEWS as the Volunteer Coordinator.