Couple Spends 25 Years Planting a Rainforest, Hundreds of Endangered Animal Species Return

Having a goal in life is a wonderful thing and when that goal is completed it can be the most amazing thing that can happen in someone’s life. When you see that all the hard work and dedication has paid off, then the fulfillment that you experience is immense.

One couple has dedicated their life in building something that does not involve gaining material goods, but something that it will be good for the environment. Namely, Pamela and Anil Malhotra had always a set dream in their life and that was doing something good for the planet and their surroundings. Their path was not easy and there have been many obstacles but they have managed to remove them all and succeeded in the realization of their dream.

Couple Spends 25 Years Planting a Rainforest, Hundreds of Endangered Animal Species Return

They have been trying for years to find the right spot that would be ideal for their dream, and in 1991, they found a suitable area in Southern India and started planting trees. They have purchased 300 acres of dry and deserted farmland and out of it they have created an oasis that is now recognized as Save Animals Initiative Sanctuary.

Pamela stated the following:

We are very fortunate and blessed that our dreams became a reality with Sai Sanctuary. By being one with nature we’ve found peace and solitude within that have set the path for our lives. Believe in your ability to make your dreams come true.”

The Save Animals Initiative Sanctuary

In this sanctuary they have planted trees which were highly beneficial to the land bringing plenty of rainfall, streams, and rivers. 

The main goal of this sanctuary is to “ protect and preserve the last remaining natural Wild Places of the Earth—especially equatorial rainforests—thereby safeguarding our vital water sources as well as the planet’s rich biodiversity of both flora and fauna for ourselves and future generations.”

The land area that was picked before was a lush tropical rainforest, but the locals have used it for centuries of extensive farming that has turned it into a desert. The trees needed to be cut so that there would be a way for planting crops, but due to the dry climate the rivers and aquifers dried up and the rain stopped falling.

The deforestation is strongly connected with the drought and this couple was well aware of it and because of that they have started planting native trees so that the area gets life again.

Pamela said that the forest produces over half of the rainfall in rainforests because of their ability to capture moist air from the ocean.

She said:

So the forest is helping create above above-ground and below-ground water sources.”

In the beginning the couple has purchased a 55-acre coffee estate and started planting jackfruit, and a wide range of fruit trees like Matti, Nandi, and Rosewood.

Patches were cleared for coffee. So what we did was to fill up the patches with native trees. And, of course, the native trees come out way on top in absorbing carbon.”

Today the forest covers a large part of the district of Kodagu which is also the residence of the Malhotras. They have revived this area which in the 1970s had been turned into a desert due to destructive farming practices and deforestation for construction and development.

Pamela says:

This is having disastrous effects on rainfall patterns and water supplies, not just in our district, but throughout the southern peninsula of India.

Anil added:

Streams and rivers originate from forests. That’s why so many have dried up or drastically reduced in size- deforestation. Without forests, there is no fresh water.”

The couple knew that after the forestation of this area animals need to live there so that the forest becomes alive. They have brought many species among which there are the endangered ones.

Pamela stated:

There are 30 species of trees that are fully dependent on elephants for propagation because their seeds are so big only elephants can swallow them down and pass them whole. So, without the elephants, you don’t have these trees. 

If we can piece back together the migration corridor of elephants, and other great landscape animals, we’re protecting forests for all the other animals too.”

The forest of the Malhotras today has 700-year-old trees acting as micro-ecosystems for over 50 other species of plants and animals. Plus including over 200 endangered species, the Royal Bengal Tiger, leopard, jackal, fox, civet cat, river otter, giant Malabar squirrel, the Asian elephant, monkey, snake (including the Indian King Cobra), dhole (Indian wild dog), and various types of deer.

Pamela said the following:

We’re not only seeing more of the species we had in the past, but even additional ones, some of which are quite endangered like the Nilgiri marten and, of course, the Asian elephant.

Over the past few years, the Asian elephants have come to the Sanctuary and given birth four times — two boys and two girls. We have grass eaters like Sambar and Chital. We have also seen leopard cats. They come here because they feel safe. There is plenty of water. They can bring infants here without fear of human interference.”

Further on, she adds:

 “We use our sanctuary as a living laboratory. It becomes a way for people to see how Mother Nature if given half a chance, will regenerate herself.”

Pamela says that there is nothing better in life when your dream comes true especially when it is for good cause concerning every person on this planet. She says that we need to do something as “our future as a beautiful living planet is dependent on it.”