Rescued Circus Elephant ‘Rhea’ Reunited with her Long Lost Sisters

Rhea coming out of the truck

(New Delhi, Chennai, Mathura, India – 22nd April 2016).  After performing side-by-side in the circus for more than five decades, circus elephant Rhea is reunited with her companions Mia and Sita, following her rescue by UK based charity Wildlife SOS. For more than five decades, elephants Mia, Sita and Rhea performed tricks together in a circus, and subjected to training and the usual brutal treatment that captive performing elephants are subjected to as part of their indoctrination and obedience training. In November 2015, British charity Wildlife SOS rescued Mia and Sita from their painful lives, but some paperwork required to rescue Rhea was yet to be obtained from the authorities which meant she had to be left behind and could not be rescued along with Sita and Mia.

Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS said, “Elephants are highly intelligent, sentient beings, and form extremely strong bonds with others of their kind. Although Mia, Sita and Rhea were not related by blood, in every other way, they were each other’s family, so it was heart wrenching to have to leave one of these three girls behind, and we had to ensure we returned for her as soon as possible”.

Following months of tireless effort, follow up on paper work, and a five day long commute from Tamil Nadu to Mathura across nearly 2800 km, Rhea elephant has finally been reunited with her sisters Sita and Mia at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, run by Wildlife SOS in Mathura, making her the eleventh circus elephant to be rescued by the organization. The excited anticipation was evident amongst the Wildlife SOS staff and rescue team as the Elephant Ambulance convoy transporting Rhea drove into the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, and everyone watched the reunion of the three elephants with bated breath. 

The female elephants, aged between 45 and 53 years, had obviously missed each other terribly, and began greeting each other with gentle squeaking and rumbling sounds even before they were within each other’s reach, after which they entwined their trunks and patted each other comfortingly, as if reassuring themselves that they were finally together again, and this time in a pain-free, safe place!

The rescue facility, run by Wildlife SOS a registered charity in UK with operations in India is currently home to 19 elephants, all of which have been rescued from situations of abuse as working and performing elephants.

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said, “It was fantastic to witness natural elephant behavior and hear the vocalizations of the elephants as they greeted each other. Amidst the squeals of excitement and trunk holding that ensued, we could not help but feel honored to have been part of this reunion. It was overwhelming that we had brought these gentle giants back together as a family”.

Ms. Tamarisk Grummit from Wildlife SOS UK, said, “Rhea has been through so much hardship during her life in the circus and was in dire need of our help to give her a chance at recovery. It was a delight to see her so happy and peaceful with her sisters at her new home in Mathura”.

About Wildlife SOS: A Non-Profit Organization, Wildlife SOS is one of the largest rescue & conservation charities in South Asia. They operate ten wildlife rehabilitation facilities across India, including the world’s largest Sloth Bear Rescue Center and the recently established Elephant Conservation and Care Center that currently houses 22 rescued elephants. Wildlife SOS runs tribal rehabilitation projects that aim to create alternative livelihoods for poachers and other indigenous communities that used to exploit wildlife for livelihoods. Additionally, they run a leopard rescue center, a Wildlife Hotline in New Delhi and ‘Forest Watch’ which is an anti-poaching wildlife crime enforcement unit.


Symposium – Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

Open Discussion Meetings:
Thursday 21st April 5:30 pm — ‘Mummy’s got to save the planet’ Marchioness Tracy Worcester 
‘The God of ALL Creation’ The Rev’d Prof Martin Henig 
Wednesday 27th April 5:30 pm — ‘What is Consciousness?’ Dr Rowan Williams  
Thursday 28th April 5:30 pm — Book Launch: ‘Thinking Biblically about Islam’ Dr Ida Glaser  
Thursday 5th May 5:30 pm — ‘Faith in Business’ Joelle Warren 
Thursday 12th May 5:30 pm — ‘Quick Build: Flat-Pack House in 30 days’ Audley English (Architect)
Thursday 19th May 5:30 pm — TBC ‘Christ through Jewish eyes’ Rabbi Mark Solomon 
Thursday 26th May 5:30 pm — ‘Then Sings My Soul’ Philip Percival 
Thursday 2nd June 5:30 pm — Book Launch: ‘Revelation Unpacked’ Leslie Marsh (Historian and Theologian)
Thursday 9th June 5:30 pm — ‘Peace and De-Radicalisation’ 
Panel: Prof Eileen Barker OBE
Rupert Shortt (TLS)
 Chaired by a senior member of the University of Oxford
FREE of Charge – Booking NOT Required – ALL Welcome
Please note that all meetings will start at 5:30 pm and there will be Wine Reception
Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, 54 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PW
Venue Parking: There is very limited availability.
FREE Street Parking  is available within walking distance on streets off Banbury Road or Woodstock Road. 
Pay & Display Parking is also available on streets behind the venue.
There are a number of bus routes passing the venue. 
For any information please email Shahriar:

A Friendly Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed by the speakers in the spoken or written content of their individual presentations do not necessarily

reflect the views of the organisers of Open Discussion Series.

Look forward to seeing you again in the meetings.
Good wishes,

Join the Jain Celebration of Mahavir’s Birthday

MahavirFor the FIRST time in years, many Jain organizations across the UK are collaborating together to celebrate the birth of the Great Soul, Lord Mahavir.

Sunday 1 May at 3.00pm at JFS School, The Mall, Harrow, Kenton, HA3 9TW.

– Come and support the PROMOTION of Jain Dharma and the INTEGRATION of Jain communities in the UK with your FAMILY & FRIENDS.

– Walk in the footsteps of his life, one of the GREATEST moral and spiritual teachers to have walked this Earth.

– Let us take you on a JOURNEY starting from the story of his previous births to when he renounced the world and finally attained Moksh in Present day Bihar.

– Understand the TRUE essence of Jain Dharma through captivating theatrical performances, beautifully choreographed dances and soulful music.

More than a 100 volunteers from the ages of 4 to over 80 are bringing this together FOR YOU

BUY YOUR TICKETS for Family & Friends NOW here

For General queries contact: 
Contact the focal points below to join:
Jain Network Colindale – Prafulaben
Mahavir Foundation – Saurabhbhai
Jain Vishva Bharati Samaniji -Hasubhai
Oshwal Association of the UK – Mahesbhai NW 
Institute of Jainology – Vibhutiben South London
SCVP – Bakulbhai 
Young Jains – Paaras Ashok Malde 
Enabling Network – Sanjaybhai 
SRD Dharampur – Jignashaben
Bhakti Mandal – Prafulaben
NE Bhakti group – Pushpaben
General – Mukul, Freya

Tickets are limited to 750.
Doors open at 2.15pm for 3pm start. 
Event estimated to finish at 6pm

Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is the auspicious day of the birth of Lord Mahavir who was born into this world more than 2,600 years ago. Born as a Prince into the Ikshvaku Dynasty in Present day Bihar (and by the way Lord Ram also belonged to this same dynasty), he abandoned all the luxuries of royal life and at just 30 became a Jain monk in search of spiritual enlightenment. After 12.5 years of rigorous penances and meditation, he attained Kewal Gnan (Omniscience) and there after through his selfless compassion, he spread the wisdom of Jain philososphy, enlightening thousands of Indians on the attainment of one’s True and Divine nature and the transformation into eternal blissful and pure Consciousness…the essence of Jainism as we know it today.

Speciesism The Movie

A truly compelling movie that challenges speciesism like never before. 

What is it that makes this low-budget film so good?  It certainly isn’t the quality of the filming. It’s Mark Devries’ brilliant role as a reporter who just keeps on challenging speciesism, particularly with reference to meat eating. He is like Socrates, constantly challenging people’s pre-conceived ideas and prejudices with a brilliant example of Socratic questioning. What he exposes is a worldwide society inflicting holocaustic suffering on billions of other sentient beings, the whole time, and yet being totally in denial of it and of being completely blinkered by the prejudice that is speciesism. He leaves no stone unturned, exposing again and again, the flaws in society’s logic about the way we treat animals.