By Steffi Joseph
Lenzolita was rescued on the 21st of January 2011 from Bihar. Wildlife SOS and the Bihar police conducted a raid in the village and found Lenzolita with 4 other cubs. She was a small little cub who looked terribly undernourished and weighed only 38 kgs. Her canines were smashed and the muzzle infected by the rope that the cruel poachers put through her nose. She was a frightened cub who couldn’t trust humans.
When Lenzolita came to the centre, our first priority was to get the rope out of her muzzle, clean the wound and put her on antibiotics to heal her tender ulcerated mouth. It wasn’t easy keeping her from rubbing her nose on the ground or scratching the healing wound with her claw. But we made sure it was all healed before we left her in the enclosure to meet the other cubs.
Our vets and staff had to make a lot of efforst to gain her trust. Each morning our senior vet, Dr. illayaraja would visit carrying cut fruits in every pocket of his jacket. Every time he entered the cub weaning area, she would go inside her den and hide. He would take out a piece of the apple and offer it to her in the hopes she would take one step toward him. However, it was almost three weeks later that she finally decided to investigate that sweet smelling fruit and come a little closer to Dr. Illaya.
Lenzolita has shown tremendous growth, both physically and mentally in the last 3 years. Today, she has a nutritious diet that comprises fruits and high protein cereals. She now weighs 90 kgs, which is very healthy for her age.
The keepers laugh and call her a monkey because she is an expert tree climber. We still remember a summer afternoon when the monkeys were troubling all the bears by jumping into the pond. Lino, as she is fondly called, ran towards them and followed them up the tree. She caught one by its tail, but it wriggled itself out of her grasp; however, it was enough to spread the message among the adventurous monkey world. Now, the monkeys make sure to stay away from her.
Her best friend is Valmiki bear with whome she enjoys taking strolls in the dense jungles and digging pits. Both of them dig huge pits and take their afternoon naps in them.
Watermelons and pomegranates are her favorite. She loves them more when they are frozen and served with ice in the summer. What a great way to beat the heat!
We are glad Lino is here with us and we are delighted to see her blossom into a beautiful bear!