A peek into India’s first private wildlife sanctuary, right here in Karnataka

SAI Sanctuary – Conservation In Coorg

SAI Sanctuary (Save Animals Initiative) is located in the Western Ghats of southern India—the heart of the watershed area for the entire south Indian peninsula, and one of the hottest ‘Hot Spots’ of biodiversity in the world, as designated by the United Nations. From the initial purchase of just 55 acres of private forested lands in 1991, the Sanctuary has grown to more than 300, with its positive influence being seen and felt in the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries it borders—Brahmagiri, Nagarhole and Bandipur.

SAI Sanctuary is run by a wonderful couple – Anil & Pamela Malhotra.


In 1991, when Anil Malhotra and his wife Pamela came to Karnataka’s Kodagu district, where they run Save Animals Initiative (SAI Sanctuary Trust), it was 55 acres of wasteland. But, over a period of 25 years, the couple transformed 300 acres of ‘wasteland’ into a private wildlife sanctuary.

Anil, 75, told Indiatimes, “When I came here with a friend who suggested I buy this land, it was a wasteland of 55 acres. The owner wanted to sell because he couldn’t grow coffee or anything else here. For me and Pamela, this was what we were looking for all our life.”

The sanctuary boasts of having more than 300 different kinds of birds and many rare and threatened animal species. The aim of the couple was to turn the land into a bio-diverse rainforest for elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, snakes, birds and other creatures. Be it 700-year-old trees or tiny plants with medicinal value, the couple have taken care to keep the indigenous greenery intact. Also located within the grounds are two eco-friendly cottages for visitors who want a first-hand experience of the natural flora and fauna.

The cottages they offer for eco-tourism are gorgeous! They have magnificent views of the rainforest and are fully self-contained so would suit long term visitors as well. All power is “off the grid” solar power. SAI Sanctuary offers a safe haven for birds who have been surrendered to the authorities or rescued from poachers. Here you can see the spacious aviary dedicated to these rescued birds.

More Information 

Where: Theralu Village & Post, South Kodagu District

Contact: +91 9341975527

Check out their website here.

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A peek into India’s first private wildlife sanctuary, right here in Karnataka
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