About Us

Our Mission

"To provide a loving, safe and secure environment for the well being of elephants where they are free to roam, socialize, bathe and feed without undue human interference as nature intended."

Reason For Existence

After visiting many places and seeing the pitiful conditions captive elephants were existing in, Dr.Supraja Dharini (TREE Foundation) and Ms. Suparna Ganguly and Dr. Shiela Rao ( WRRC) realized that no amount of report writing and documenting the deplorable conditions would improve the lives of these elephants. Together, with the support of TREE Foundation and WRRC, they set about finding a way to create a better, brighter alternative life for them. It became clear that the only solution would be to establish a dedicated and specialized care facility for these elephants where they could slowly recover from years of captivity and, in many cases, neglect.
The seven founding freedoms of the Elefriends101 Elephant Care facility are,

Freedom :

  • To move around without shackles/chains or ropes in a natural, protected, semi-wild space

  • To sleep, walk, play or bathe under benevolent human monitoring and presence

  • To play with water or indulge in dust-baths and other normal behavior

  • From fear of emotional or physical pain and distress

  • To indulge in natural social interactions

  • From hunger, malnutrition or thirst

  • From injury and disease.

As elephant numbers, both African and Asian, continue to decline, it is imperative that we strive to take care and ensure the wellbeing of those who remain. As more temples are coming to see the benefits of granting the elephants freedom after a life of servitude to humans we expect the Elephant Care Facility to grow in the future to accommodate many more deserving elephants. We hope you will join us on this journey.

The Team

Founded in October 2002 by Dr. Supraja Dharini, the TREE Foundation -Trust for Environment and Education, Conservation and Community Development has dedicated itself to the protection of all life through community participation and ongoing educational programs that reach all levels of society. Creating attitudinal change among an ever growing human population is the only way to ensure a peaceful coexistence with all the other life forms we share the planet with. Inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, TREE Foundation has been at the forefront of animal welfare for almost 15 years and also operates the only sea turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in the state. The foundation is also recognized by the Animal Welfare Board of India.


Dr. Supraja Dharini
Founder and President,TREE
An artist by profession, Dr. Dharini devotes the majority of her time to the protection of the natural environment through numerous initiatives. A member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, Dr. Dharini is at the forefront of campaigning for legislative change to improve the level of protection offered to the natural environment and endangered marine and terrestrial species. Dr. Dharini is also the Country head for Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots International Volunteer Youth Program.
Dr M Prabhakara Rao
Dr. Prabhakara Rao , is a Doctorate in Philosophy and a visiting scholar for the Catholic University of America, Washington DC. He has lectured at the Department of Philosophy, Madras University and was a Senior Fellow of the Indian Council for Philosophical Research, freelance counselor, extensively traveled India and counseled in USA and Canada. he heads the TREE foundations's biodiversity and conservation program in Andhra Pradesh.

Dr A Pradeep Kumar
Dr. Pradeep Kumar ,holds an MBBS degree and runs a hospital in Nellore for the poor, specialized in care for children and the aged. He organizes free health check up camps for Sea Turtle Protection Force members of TREE foundation all along the east coast.

Saeef AB
Member,Infrastructure Head
Saeef is a mechanical engineer and a businessman. He is a dynamic person with his interests ranging from machines to nature conservation and animal welfare. He is gifted with excellent hand skills and enjoys constructive hand work such as carpentry, machine care and repair, pet care, gardening etc. All the structures at the facility have come up under his care and guidance.

The Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC) was registered in July 1999 as a public charitable Trust for the conservation and welfare of wildlife in urban and rural areas around Bangalore, India. WRRC was set up by the trustees of Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), in response to a keenly felt need: to provide relief to wild animals, birds and reptiles; including medical treatment and housing; as well as to handle cases of cruelty involving these animals. Wild animals are injured, abused and illegally traded; and concerned members of the public have few options for their treatment and housing. Expertise in their management and rehabilitation is also rare.


Suparna Baksi Ganguly
Co-founder and honorary President,WRRC
Established in 1999, the organisation is dedicated to wildlife conservation and environment. Suparna has worked intensively for the welfare of captive elephants in the country. She has been instrumental in the documentation, advocacy and on ground establishment of elephant care centres in South India. She is on the Advisory Board of Help Animals India, USA and on various State Committees for animal welfare. She was awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2015 by the Hon'ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee in March 2016.
Dr. Shiela N Rao
Honorary Secretary and Trustee,WRRC
A graduate of the Veterinary College in Bangalore, she is the co-founder trustee of CUPA, WRRC’s sister organisation. Along with Mrs. Suparna Ganguly, she has been instrumental in filing the Supreme Court petition for captive elephants, after many years of research and documentation. She has co-authored many reports on the status of captive elephants in the country. She was awarded the Special Achievement Award in 2016, by the Karnataka Veterinary Association for the promotion of Animal Welfare. She is also Chairperson of an Independent Ethics Committee, which reviews protocols for human clinical trials.

Sandhya Madappa
Honorary Treasurer and Co-founder trustee ,WRRC.
A postgraduate in Economics, and a MBA gold medallist from Mysore University. She worked with the State Bank of India in a managerial capacity for 15 years. Sandhya has been committed to the cause of all animals, wild or domestic. She has organised several fund raising events over the years for WRRC’s various projects.

Brindha Nandakumar
She is a practicing advocate by profession and also a Mediator of the Karnataka High Court. Her love for animals led her to fight many critical cases in the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka for the protection of both wild and domestic animals. She has conducted many campaigns and projects for animal welfare and rights. Brindha advises interested groups on animal rights and welfare issues.

Gopi Shankar
His deep love for animals, wildlife and conservation coupled with his years in the corporate sector has helped to develop and guide the various facets of WRRC. Gopi’s sharp insights and writing skills have been a great asset to the organization.
Anand Jacob
His deep interest in wildlife and conservation issues led him to volunteer with the organization and to joining the Board in 2014. Anand has a PhD in Immunology from the Ohio State University, USA, and currently heads the medical writing team at Biocon, Bangalore.

Subramanium Santakumar
His love for animals and wildlife led him to seek a change from the corporate sector to not for profit organizations where he could work for the subjects of his interest - animals wild and domestic. After volunteering with WRRC for many years, he joined the Board in 2014. His communications background has helped in many ways to create awareness and change in mindsets. He is also a trained Animal Welfare Officer by the AWBI.
Shalini Rajshekhar
Her passion and commitment for animals and wildlife led her to become a Managing Committee member for two years after which she joined the Board.

Advisory Board

Stephen Koyle
Stephen Koyle has spent more than 27 years caring for animals. He has spent the last 14 years specializing in elephant care. Throughout his career Steve has traveled around the world inspiring and educating future elephant keepers, zoo teens,animal rights activists and zoo board members on target training using positive reinforcement,designing facilities that support elephant health and specializing in proper elephant foot-care.He has now established ELEPHANT CARE UNCHAINED, an organization dedicated to eliminating cruelty and improving elephant welfare in their native countries.
John Flynn
John Flynn from Ireland is the Founder and Conservation Director of Wildseas, a marine conservation non-profit that operates mostly in Ghana and Togo, west Africa. Holding a Dip Marine Bio, John is experienced in many aspects of marine conservation with a particular focus on sea turtles. Although based in Europe, John frequently travels to both Africa and Asia to oversee existing projects, seek out new opportunities and information share with other conservation organizations. Having previously been involved with elephant care in Thailand, John has been closely involved with Elefriends 101 from concept through design to the final realization of the ECF. John brings a diverse range of conservation experience with him and is a valued member of our Advisory Board.

Work Force

Dr Supraja Dharini
Executive Director
Saeef A B

Govind G R

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3 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Hi I’m. Shyleswari, I want to be a part of this awesome work. I’ve always loved elephants. I live in Chennai. Please tell how I can see the elephants. And experience this work,
    Best Wishes in your beautiful endeavors

  2. Hi, This is Dr. Lalan Kumar Choudhary, A retired PCCF (Indian Forest Service, Madhya Pradesh) possessing more than 34 years of experience in managing the pristine wilderness of Madhya Pradesh in various capacities. By serving as the Field Directors of Bandhavgarh, Panna Tiger Reserves, Deputy Director of Pench Tiger Reserves, Conservator of Forests of Sanjay National Park, and key positions in many other Protected Areas of Madhya Pradesh, I had been gifted to earn first-hand experience to handle the Wild as well as the captive population of wild animals including the Asiatic Elephants.
    Really I admire the tremendous astonishing qualities inherent in the Asiatic Elephants, their endurance, witty approach, their sensitivity, their forgiving attitude and many other admirable uniqueness not found in other animal. Being equally worried for their declining population in the Nature, I appeal to all to initiate efforts to conserve this wonderful creation of the Nature in the utmost priority.
    While serving in the field, I have documented few real stories connected with this majestic animal which I can share with the other nature-loving persons.
    I Pray to the almighty to provide adequate sense in people to protect and conserve the Asiatic Elephants roaming in free wilderness and captivity.
    It is requested to include me in the list of your esteemed group.
    With Best of my regards
    Yours Sincerely
    Dr. Lalan Kumar Choudhary.

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