This Couple Bought A Barren Land Nearly 30 Years Ago, Now It's A 300-Acre Wildlife Sanctuary

This Couple Bought A Barren Land Nearly 30 Years Ago, Now It's A 300-Acre Wildlife Sanctuary

Pamela and Anil Malhotra bought 55 acres of land in 1991 and now, it is the only private sanctuary in India that is home to animals like Bengal Tiger, Sambhar and Asian Elephants.

Most of us love to wake up to the sounds of chirping birds with fresh air and surrounded by nature. In our constantly busy lives, having a house amidst nature sounds like a dream, but this couple made it into reality. Dr. A.K. Malhotra and Mrs. Pamela Malhotra are very passionate about wildlife and nature conservation. To start off their passion, this incredible couple bought 55 acres of land to plant native trees and protect the environment in 1991. From there, their journey has been absolutely incredible. 


The couple has transformed a former 300-acre wasteland into India's only private wildlife sanctuary. As reported by Forbes, Anil Malhotra wrote a ‘Wake Up Call’ for CEOs and business owners to purchase large parts of barren lands that could be transformed into the wilderness. He wrote, "Please help us form a Nature Conservancy to acquire critical forest areas with monies earmarked from your CSR budget to be used for nonprofit NGOs to acquire critical forest areas privately owned before they are also cut down." The conservationist also said that he will offer his guidance to the companies who are willing to take this route. 




The couple bought 55-acre of unused land from farmers who considered the soil barren and of no use because of excessive rainfall in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. According to a report by The Better India, Pamela said, "We chose Kodagu because it is the micro hotspot of biodiversity in the entire planet." Since then, the couple has been working endlessly to expand the green cover of the area. At present, the 55-acre land has increased to 300-acres of land that is covered under lush green forest. 


When Anil and Pamela purchased the land, it was already home to a number of native trees. Those trees can still be found in the sanctuary. Anil and Pamela follow three rules to the nail; no chopping down of any tree, no human interference, and no poachers.


Anil and Pamela are both acting trustees of privately held SAI Sanctuary. In 1986, they thought they are returning to India for a brief visit, but little did they know what the future had in store for them. The couple is also very much invested in agriculture. During the time they have spent in the wildlife sanctuary, they have also been very keen observers about the economic situation going around them. Pamela said, "Here in Karnataka they have actually had to cut back business manufacturing by over 50%." In the nearby city of Mangalore, fuel refineries and textile mills have been struggling for a very long time because of water scarcity and Pamela said that the ultimate impact will be on the employment of the people. 




She said, "You cannot do business if you do not have fresh water. It doesn’t matter what the business is – IT, manufacturing, education, healthcare, shops, malls; all aspects of life use fresh water.” SAI Sanctuary is now covered with more than 300 acres of beautiful green cover and almost the entire area is occupied by various animals like elephants, leopards, sloths, and jackals to name a few. Pamela concluded, saying, "Our forests are where virtually all our vital water sources are found. What the state governments are doing instead is trying to map underground sources of water, which are much smaller than originally thought.”

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