Meet Your Hosts
Meet your Hosts
Co-founder & CEO of Wildlife SOS
Kartick Satyanarayan’s love of the natural world began early in life; he spent his youth rescuing animals & exploring the forest near his home. He began his wildlife career as a field biologist tracking tigers in Southern India.
In 1995 he founded Wildlife SOS with Geeta Seshamani, dedicating this non-profit to protecting India’s wildlife heritage. Kartick, Geeta & Wildlife SOS changed Indian history by rescuing over 628 performing ‘dancing bears and brought to an end to the centuries old barbaric practice while providing alternative livelihoods to Kalandar communities previously depending on bears to support their families.
Kartick manages Wildlife SOS as CEO and oversees 10 rescue & rehabilitation facilities for Elephants, Tigers, bears, leopards, reptiles & birds. The recent establishment of India’s first Elephant Hospital & Conservation Care Centre resulted in rescue of over 45 elephants to date. Education & outreach efforts are making lasting change in attitudes & humane care of elephants.
Kartick also heads the Anti-Poaching unit of Wildlife SOS ‘Forest Watch’ and often goes undercover to bust poaching gangs. He is responsible for sending several tiger and elephant poachers to jail. He’s a member of the IUCN Bear Specialist Group (Sloth Bear Expert), Wildlife Crime Control Bureau & Honorary Wildlife Warden for Delhi.
Kartick is a TED Fellow and recipient of the prestigious Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar Award, San Diego Zoo Global 2018 Conservation Medal, Elisabeth Lewyt Award, and an invited speaker at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, House of Lords, London, UK, Clinton School USA among others. Wildlife SOS was recently recognized by the City of Los Angeles and California Senate for their contribution to Environment and Wildlife Protection in India.
Co-founder & Secretary of Wildlife SOS
Geeta is an active senior wildlife conservationist and animal rights activist. For over three decades, her life has been centered on the profound belief that man can coexist with animals and forests. She is the Vice President of Friendicoes SECA and also the Co- Founder and Secretary of Wildlife SOS.
Having witnessed the cruel treatment of stray dogs in New Delhi, she felt compelled to become their voice and champion their cause. In 1979, she became a part of Friendicoes SECA (Society for the Eradication of Cruelty to Animals), an animal rescue and welfare nonprofit, and currently serves as its vice president.
Friendicoes SECA began as a shelter for sick, injured animals or abandoned pets and has gradually grown into Delhi’s largest shelter for domestic animals. Today, it has a hospice, outpatient department (OPD) and ambulance services, an animal sanctuary in Gurgaon and a mobile clinic for horses and donkeys. The organization runs five municipal corporation hospitals for spaying, neutering, and vaccinating stray dogs in Delhi and Gurgaon, to control stray populations of animals in a humane and scientific way.Geeta is an active senior wildlife conservationist and animal rights activist. For over three decades, her life has been centered on the profound belief that man can coexist with animals and forests. She is the Vice President of Friendicoes SECA and also the Co- Founder and Secretary of Wildlife SOS.
When Geeta witnessed a sloth bear being forced to dance while its owner begged for money in Uttar Pradesh, she joined forces with Kartick to launch a 30 month long investigation to understand the problem and later that year Wildlife SOS was born. In a historic moment in 2009, Wildlife SOS was successful in bringing an end to the ‘dancing bear’ practise by taking the last dancing bears off the streets of India. Today, nearly 40% of the Wildlife SOS staff comprise of members of this community, who opted for a more sustainable future.
Geeta is now focused on developing human wildlife conflict mitigation strategies to aid wildlife conservation in India. She is currently a Special Officer of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Govt. of India. She is also a member of CPSCEA committee for the ethical treatment of animals in experimentation and a former member of the Central Zoo Authority, Govt. of India as well as the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).
Geeta has been felicitated with the prestigious “Pehal Award” by Zee News (2004), the Planman Media Award for Environmental Activism (2009), the Karamveer Puraskar Award (2009), Limca’s “People of the Year” Award (2014), and is a two-time winner of The Elisabeth Lewyt Award for Disaster Management and Planning. Recently she received the Wockhardt Foundation prize for Human Rights Popular Award. Geeta was featured amongst the ‘Women of Pure Wonder’ in the Vodafone 2016 book of the same title. She also received the The Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare Award, 2017and the San Diego Zoo Global 2018 Conservation Medal for Conservation – in – Action 2018.
She is co-author of ‘Dancing Bears of India and Trade in Bears and Their Parts in India: Threats to Conservation of Bears.’ A lauded guest speaker at innumerable global conferences, Geeta demonstrates her lifelong devotion to the protection and well-being of all living things tirelessly.