A couple in Karnataka is a proud owner of a private wildlife sanctuary in Kodagu district. The inspiring couple spent 25 years buying barren and abandoned farmland, reforested about 300 acres land and created their own sanctuary with tigers, elephants, leopards, snakes, deer, and a whole lot of other animals and birds.    


Pamela Malhotra, 64, and her husband Anil K Malhotra, 75, owns this private sanctuary they named, Save Animals Initiative (SAI) Sanctuary located in Brahmagiri, a mountain range. There are more than 300 kinds of birds and rare animals that can be found in this sanctuary and also there is a tree which is about 700 years old.   


Anil Malhotra was working in real estate and restaurant industry in the USA before coming back to India and buying 55 acres of land in the Kodagu district in 1991. Anil met his wife Pamela in the 1960s, and both shared the common love for nature.  


The thought to reclaim forests in India became a purpose for the couple when they visited the country in 1986 for Anil’s father’s funeral and saw the condition of Haridwar, Indiatimes quoted Anil as saying. They first searched for a land in north India before turning towards the south. 



It was a friend who suggested the couple about the 55 acres of land located in the foothills of Brahmagiri whom where the journey to create a private sanctuary began. Soon, upon realising that nurturing a forest is of no use if on the other side of a stream the landowners use pesticides for farming. So, they decided to buy lands on that side of the stream and also its peripheral. Once bought, the couple planted native saplings and allowed the regeneration of the forest. 


Today, the Sai Sanctuary spreads across 300 acres land that has trees, plants, animals and birds. The sanctuary draws many naturalists, scientists and visitors apart from diverse wildlife. 


The challenging part of making this sanctuary was keeping a check on hunting and poaching. The couple talked to the locals and created awareness to encourage them not to kill animals and birds. To keep a check on poaching, the couple took help from the forest department to install camera traps. 


To maintain the sanctuary, the couple receives support from trustees and are also trying to get corporations on board as part of their corporate social responsibility. 

Check out this video of Sai Sanctuary: