Swechha began in 2000 as a young people’s campaign to raise awareness about pollution in India's River Yamuna and on youth participation and active citizenship.
As the world becomes more aware of the suffering of captive animals, they are also embracing the need for something better. There are elephants around the world in need of sanctuary, but too few safe places exist to be able to care for even a fraction of them. With more than 5,000 African and Asian elephants in captivity and only approximately 150 of them in sanctuary, elephants around the world are in dire need of a healthy alternative.
In response to this global crisis, Global Sanctuary for Elephants (GSE) was founded in 2013 by Scott Blais in collaboration with globally recognized elephant authority Dr. Joyce Poole. Blais is a leading expert in natural habitat elephant sanctuary development and operation. He has worked with and on behalf of Asian and African elephants for 30 years, analyzing the impacts of captivity and advocating for protective legislation.
During his 16-year tenure as co-founder and director of operations for the world-renowned 2700-acre Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, Blais developed state-of-the-art holistic rescue and recovery protocols that he now shares in his role as an international consultant for captive elephant health and welfare.
GSE’s pilot project is Elephant Sanctuary Brazil (ESB), the first and only elephant sanctuary in South America, located on a stunning 2800-acre property in Chapada dos Guimarães, Brazil. The diversity and richness of the land, along with year-round warm temperatures, provide everything an elephant could desire, both for their body and mind. It is the perfect place for their forever home.
ESB’s first two rescues, Maia and Guida, have confirmed to us once again that in the safety of sanctuary, rescued elephants blossom, health is restored, the insecure gain confidence, and the aggressive become gentle and loving. GSE’s mission is to give more elephants, like Maia and Guida, a second chance at life, a joyful life, shared as members of a herd in wide open spaces cultivated specifically to meet their physical and emotional needs. With your help, we can welcome them all home.
Global Sanctuary for Elephants provides the necessary expertise, hands-on assistance and pivotal funding to aid in the development of elephant sanctuaries, domestically and internationally, and provide support for the global welfare and wellbeing of elephants wherever the need exists.Learn More
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