The life of a performing elephant is cruel. Despite the ban on animal performances in circuses, elephants are forced to perform illegally, continue to be beaten or they are kept chained up and endure poor care. The ex-circus elephant Rhea’s life was no different. After spending 53 years as a performing elephant where she would be tied up in confined spaces, restricted by heavy chains and tight ropes that dug painfully into her legs, little did she know of the inspiring expedition that was to be mounted for her rescue. Rhea Lopez is the elephant campaign manager for Wildlife SOS, a charity that has been working since 1995 to protect, conserve and rehabilitate elephants, tigers, leopards and other wild animals across India. As part of the Wildlife SOS elephant team, Rhea Lopez helps coordinate elephant campaigns and monitoring elephants that are selected for rescue. Her most rewarding moments are while accompanying rescued elephants on their journeys to their forever home at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation & Care Centre in Mathura.
Mason N McLary
|Notes||Part of TEDx, an independently organized TED event.|