Couple Buys Rainforest in 1991 And Devotes 26 Years To Bringing It Back To Life

Sai Sanctuary, the only private wildlife sanctuary in India, has been replanting and protecting forests and wildlife since it’s formation in 1991. Their owners, Pamela Gale Malhotra and her husband, Anil Malhotra are proud of SAI Sanctuary. It 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 said. “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.”

It is located in the Kodagu district, which 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 throughout the south of India.

It is almost like 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.”

Kodagu district in South India is suffering from extreme deforestation

wildlife forest restoration

Image credits: Infinite Windows
But Pamela Gale Malhotra and her husband, Anil Malhotra, decided to fight

wildlife forest restoration

Image credits: Infinite Windows
So the couple co-founded SAI Sanctuary in 1991

wildlife forest restoration

Image credits: The Better India
They have been replanting trees and expanding the sanctuary. It now covers over 300 acres of wildlife

wildlife forest restoration

Image credits: Great Big Story
The area is home to more than 200 globally endangered species, including Asian elephants

wildlife forest restoration

Image credits: The Better India
“When we first came here, most of the lands that were sold to us, were abandoned lands.”

wildlife forest restoration

Image credits: SAI Sanctuary
“Abandoned rice fields, coffee, and cardamom fields as well”

wildlife forest restoration

Image credits: Great Big Story