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Couple Spends 26 Years Replanting A Rainforest They Bought In 1991, And Here’s How It Looks Today
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Nature5 years ago

Couple Spends 26 Years Replanting A Rainforest They Bought In 1991, And Here’s How It Looks Today

Pamela Gale Malhotra and her husband, Anil Malhotra, own Sai Sanctuary, the only private wildlife sanctuary in India and have been replanting and protecting forests and wildlife since it’s foundation in 1991. Today, SAI Sanctuary covers over 300 acres of wildlife that are home to more than 200 globally endangered species of plants and animals, including Asian elephants and Bengal tigers.

“When we first came here, most of the lands that were sold to us, were abandoned lands,” Pamela told Great Big Story. “Abandoned rice fields, coffee, and cardamom fields as well. A lot of deforestation had taken place. And that took a lot, a lot of care and energy and time and years to bring it back.”

The part of India where the sanctuary is located, Kodagu district, has experienced a dramatic decrease in forest cover – from 86% in the 1970s to 16% today. Pamela explained that this has disastrous effects on rainfall patterns and water supply not only in the district but throughout the south of India.

You could say that the couple is piecing back together the environment by ensuring that the forests can provide shelter for the animals, and the animals can in return keep the forests healthy. “We both feel a tremendous amount of joy when we walk through the sanctuary,” said Pamela. “I’ve never felt this kind of joy in anything else that I’ve done in my life.”

More info: saisanctuary.com (h/t: greatbigstory)

Kodagu district in South India is suffering from extreme deforestation

Image credits: Infinite Windows

But Pamela Gale Malhotra and her husband, Anil Malhotra, decided to fight

Image credits: Infinite Windows

So the couple co-founded SAI Sanctuary in 1991

Image credits: The Better India

Since then, they have been replanting trees and expanding the sanctuary. It now covers over 300 acres of wildlife

Image credits: Great Big Story

The area is home to more than 200 globally endangered species, including Asian elephants

Image credits: The Better India

“When we first came here, most of the lands that were sold to us, were abandoned lands”

Image credits: SAI Sanctuary

“Abandoned rice fields, coffee, and cardamom fields as well”

Image credits: Great Big Story

“[It] took a lot of care, energy, and years to bring it back”

Image credits: The Better India

“I remember walking through the forest, you wouldn’t hear anything but the sound of your own feet”

Image credits: Great Big Story

“Now, the place is alive with sound”

Image credits: Great Big Story

Pamela hopes that the forest continues to be protected and expanded

Image credits: Infinite Windows

“We both feel a tremendous amount of joy when we walk through the sanctuary”

Image credits: Great Big Story

“I’ve never felt this kind of joy in anything else that I’ve done in my life”

Image credits: Infinite Windows

Watch the couple’s video below

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Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
5 years ago

This is the kind of story that the mainstream news should be covering. We need to inspire more people to do likewise. They are real heroes.

Phaedra Gorgon
Community Member
5 years ago

This story really touched me. I live in Sri Lanka and many of our forests have suffered the same fate. Our forest cover has reduced drastically and many endemic animals in our country are endangered. Wild animals are killed regularly either by humans or vehicles as they encroach into human habitat, looking for food as their homes have been destroyed. No one cares. I wish there were more people like this couple.

Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
5 years ago

Maybe people could be inspired by this story?

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GlassOfWater
Community Member
5 years ago

What an amazing couple. So selfless and passionate.

Load More Comments
Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
5 years ago

This is the kind of story that the mainstream news should be covering. We need to inspire more people to do likewise. They are real heroes.

Phaedra Gorgon
Community Member
5 years ago

This story really touched me. I live in Sri Lanka and many of our forests have suffered the same fate. Our forest cover has reduced drastically and many endemic animals in our country are endangered. Wild animals are killed regularly either by humans or vehicles as they encroach into human habitat, looking for food as their homes have been destroyed. No one cares. I wish there were more people like this couple.

Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
5 years ago

Maybe people could be inspired by this story?

Load More Replies...
GlassOfWater
Community Member
5 years ago

What an amazing couple. So selfless and passionate.

Load More Comments
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