Prakash has been a part of the Wildlife SOS team for more than 14 years, having worked at both our Agra Bear Rescue Facility and now at our Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Facility. Prakash is extremely popular among the staff and the rescued sloth bears alike, because of the passion and genuine love for the animals he works with, that is so evident when you talk to him.
How did you start working with Wildlife SOS?
Before working here, I had a job installing and maintaining power fences, when I came to know about Wildlife SOS through people I worked with. This was in 2003, and I applied for and got a job with the organisation doing maintenance work at their Agra Bear Rescue Facility. Noticing my interest and love for animals, the team began training me to work with rescue wildlife – and I got the amazing opportunity to work with an array of animals – from antelope and deer, to snakes, and eventually the bears!
What is a typical workday for you?
I am currently working with Wildlife SOS in the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre as a bear keeper. This means I spend my days caring for the sloth bears at BBRC – preparing and distributing the porridge and fruit, cleaning their dens and enclosures, and assisting the veterinary team in treatment. I spend time during my day observing the bears and their behaviour, to ensure that they are all healthy and happy, and this is the most enjoyable part of my day.
What is the best part about your job?
I love working with sloth bears, they are such interesting and unique animals! I particularly like doing my feeding rounds where I take fruit or porridge to each bear and then get to watch as he or she comically and noisily slurps up every last bit of porridge from the bowl. It makes me especially happy to see the sloth bears look so excited and happy when you take them their food – they even chase the jeeps when we go out to distribute fruit!
What is the most difficult part of your job?
My job isn’t always easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else – I enjoy my work too much to consider it to be “difficult.”
Why do you enjoy working with sloth bears?
To be fair, I really like all animals. They all fascinate me equally. I happened to get the wonderful chance to work with sloth bears in particular, and have enjoyed getting to know each of them individually and learning about their behaviour and personalities.
Who is your favourite bear?
My favourite bear is probably Bobby. They’re all great to work with, but Bobby is so loving and friendly, and always excited to see me – I always look forward to seeing him every day.
What do you do besides work?
I also do some farming work back home, which I really enjoy.