The Wildlife Superheroes

Friendicoes and Wildlife SOS are dedicated to protecting animals

12/2/2016 2:12:30 PM
written By : Swara Chandran Print

The wildlife superheroes, Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani, work unremittingly to save India’s wild, stray and sick animals. The two wildlife conservationists had come to educate and create awareness in Singapore on November 11, 2016. 

It all began sometime in the 1970s when a group of students started a small shelter for animals under the Defence Colony Flyover in Delhi, India. The shelter started small but in no time, Friendicoes SECA made its presence felt.  Indira Gandhi, who was Prime Minister of India, provided the space at that time. 

The vice president of Friendicoes, Geeta Seshamani, says the shelter has about 2,000 animals in its supervision today. The Friendicoes shelter includes an in-house clinic, which accommodates around 150 - 200 animals at a time, a lab and X-ray unit along with two operation theaters. The shelter was for stray dogs initially. Now it is home to donkeys, horses and other animals. The organisation also has a sanctuary in Gurgaon caring for almost a thousand animals. Friendicoes also has two animal hospitals in Ghazipur. They have a 24-hour hotline that receives distress calls every day. Friendicoes is true to its motto of never leaving any animal behind.

The inhabitants at Friendicoes are animals that were tortured, mistreated, abused and orphaned. 

Friendicoes does not just save and protect the lives of homeless animals; its volunteers and staff  distribute food and medication as well as blankets to animals around India. So far they have helped 43.000 animals! The organisation raises money only through voluntary donations and outpatient facilities. It encourages people to save animals because without animals the whole ecosystem would collapse, jeopardising the human species.

However, this was not enough for our wildlife warriors. A motion to take things to the next level began. Wildlife SOS was established in 1995, to start a movement and to conserve natural habitats for animals throughout India. 

Kartick Satyanarayan, the founder and chairman of Wildlife SOS, and Geeta Seshamani, co-founder, focused initially on ending mistreatment of the famous dancing bears in India. The process was not easy. People in villages would steal baby bears from their mothers and pierce a hole through their nostril to guide the bears. The ligaments of young bears were much more fragile when they are cubs, which then allowed their “masters” to tie a rope through their nose to control them. The name, “dancing bears”, came about as the bears were tied with a rope through their nose from birth till death and when tugged around, they would jump up and down in pain. Calling it a dance, these village people made a living out of it.  

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