We spent two weeks volunteering in Agra in November 2013 at Agra Bear Rescue Facility & Elephant Haven.
I cannot speak highly enough of the people that work here or the work that they are doing. For a short distance from the Taj Mahal it would be a must to add into your itinerary if you have a few hours or better yet volunteer there for as little as a week.
You can contact them on the phone prior to coming if you are going out for the day ( they speak english!) & they will arrange to meet you at the gates and show you around and tell you about the sanctuary and the animals.
The work that is being done for the rescued bears in admirable and a pleasure to see after learning about the hideous things that these bears have gone through in their lives prior, they live happy lives with large space & enrichments and amazing veterinary care. The keepers there truly care about the animals and love their jobs.
The Elephants at Elephant Haven are truly so well cared for, they are completely off chain, walk for 4 hours a day outside the facility, they socialise with each other, play in the river and are so happy despite their past before their rescues ( each of them has a sad and different story). it is such a pleasure to be able to spend time with them, after a while you get to know each of their personalities & love them even more!
This organisation has such a pragmatic approach in that they know the solution is two fold & consider the poorer communities where these animals have come from in their overall rehabilitation plan.
You should be aware that although there is an entrance fee this is set by the forest dept & none of this goes to the charity or the animals - you can donate there or sponsor an animal or they have a great gift ship on site where i just bought all of my christmas presents! Please condsider a donation no matter how small when you are there for this reason, what may be small to you means alot to them.
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