The Bannerghatta Biological Park, Karnataka Forest Department, Zoo Authority of Karnataka, Central Zoo Authority and Wildlife SOS have evacuated 22 rescued dancing bears (12 males : 10 females) to save them from severe Maoist threat received in West Bengal.

“When the Purulia Forest Department and the Animal Rescue Center received serious threats from the Maoist insurgency groups to evacuate all staff from the forest area, we were all seriously concerned” said Kartick Satyanarayan – Co founder of Wildlife SOS.

With the Maoist Groups posing to be a constant threat in the forest areas of West Bengal, Wildlife SOS ultimately decided to remove 22 bears from the West Bengal Rescue Center, located in Purulia, in the interest of the safety of the Bears. The Central Zoo Authority requested the West Bengal Govt and the Karnataka Govt to kindly facilitate the emergency evacuation of these bears to ensure their safety.

“The PCCF (Wildlife) Shri B K Singh, IFS and the Addl (PCCF) & Member Secretary of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka – Shri Jayakumar and Shri Millo Tago, IFS the Executive Director of Bannerghatta Biological Park very kindly agreed to the shifting of the 22 bears and thereby enabling the emergency evacuation of the Bears. We are grateful to Bannerghatta for making it possible for us to rescue these animals from a very critically dangerous situation” said Kartick Satyanarayan – Co founder of Wildlife SOS.

Geeta Seshamani, co founder, Wildlife SOS said “The Bears were evacuated with the help of three large trucks and a team of about 12 trained staff with a veterinary doctor travelled with the bears to ensure their safety and health monitoring. The Bears were fed and monitored at regular intervals all along the route from West Bengal to Bannerghatta, Bangalore. They will be monitored at BBRC before releasing them into the new habitat”.

”The Bears that been evacuated from West Bengal have been thoroughly checked by the Veterinary Officers at the Bear Rescue Center upon their arrival and found to be in good health. They have been kept in the Quarantine area for observation and monitoring and will be released in their designated enclosures after the necessary veterinary and health screening” said Dr Arun A Sha, Senior Veterinary Officer, Wildlife SOS.

The Sloth Bear population in the BBP/ BBRC at present has gone up to 117 making it the largest collection of sloth bears in South India. As per the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority, Govt, of India the minimum required area for the first pair of bears is 1000 Square Meters and an additional 100 Square Meters for every additional Bear. Therefore the total area required for 117 Bears is only 12700 Sq Meters. The Bear Rescue center and Safari’s present area is about 22 hectares (220,000 square meters) therefore the area will not be a constraint for the additional bears that have been shifted to BBRC.