To battle the rampant and horrendous practice of “Dancing” Bear, Wildlife SOS with its mission to conserve and rehabilitate the Sloth Bears in captivity saw the absolute need to instigate a Rescue Centre for the Sloth Bears and also ensure rehabilitation for the “Kalandars”, a community that practiced Bear Dancing in South India. With this focused thought the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre was born through its agreement with Karnataka Forest Department and Zoo Authority of Karnataka which was signed on 28th of November 2005.
Since then, the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre has been instrumental in rescuing and providing a life-time care for over a hundred Sloth Bears rescued from the Dancing Bear trade, poaching, ill-kept zoos and Human-Bear conflict situations. With additional retiring dens built and the much required renovations made to the existing dens, the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre currently holds 81 rescued Sloth Bears amidst the lush greens and rocks of the dry-deciduous Bannerghatta Biological Park, making it the world’s second largest rescue centre for Sloth Bears. A perfect home for the Rescued Dancing Sloth Bears to spend their rest of their lives away from the trauma and tortures they had to endure during dancing on the streets.
The Bears now have a healthy and nutritious diet thrice a day which includes porridge, honey and large quantities of fruits with additional supplements for proteins, vitamins and calcium. To ensure they burn enough calories, the keepers at the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre build and develop many enrichment structures for the Bears to play and learn the ways of the wild. The Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre also houses a well-equipped Veterinary Clinic and a team of experienced Veterinary Doctors to ensure round-the-clock care and monitoring of these rescued animals.
The Wildlife SOS Bear Rescue Project and Kalandar Rehabilitation Programme is supported by international partners- International Animal Rescue, Free the Bears- Australia, One Voice Association- France and Humane Society International- Australia.