In the early hours of 3rd December 2012, Wildlife SOS team in Bangalore headed by Dr Arun A Sha received an SOS call from the DFO Tumkur Division, Karnataka Forest Department about a sloth bear trapped in a snare. This was a very unusual case and we had little time to lose as the panicky animal could injure itself quite badly. The location was about 2 hours from Bangalore city (about 150 kms) in a village situated in Tumkur division.
The Wildlife SOS team from the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center in Bangalore rushed to the spot to assist the Karnataka Forest Department in this rescue operation. On reaching the spot the team discovered a twelve month old, female sloth bear cub, trapped in a snare attached to a barbed wire fence. Apparently the snare had been set to catch wild boars that often enter the fields and destroy crops.
The bear cub had been trapped at night and had entangled itself in the barbed wire and was injured. Quick action was required to remove the cub from the snare. Dr Arun- the Wildlife SOS vet darted the bear cub and once sedated, the Wildlife SOS team and the Forest Department officers used bolt cutters and cut away the wire and the snare that held the bear cub captive. The bear cub’s injuries were superficial and quickly treated.
The bear cub was released in the dark at 9:30 pm by the forest department in Bukkapatna Forest, quite close to where it was found. “If not for the timely intervention by the Forest Department, this cub would have become another statistic. We hope the local Police and the Karnataka Forest Department initiate strict legal action against the farmer on whose land the snare was found and any other persons who were responsible for this heinous crime. There is a serious need to spread awareness in the region about tolerance toward wildlife.” said Kartick Satyanaryan, Co founder – Wildlife SOS.