A Day in the Life of a Bear Keeper at Wildlife SOS

January 22, 2021 | By Smriti Suri

Our bear caregivers are some of the most dedicated members of the Wildlife SOS staff. Their days are long, difficult and often exhausting – they do not allow themselves any rest until every last bear has been comfortably fed and settled down for the night. So, what does a day in the life of a WSOS bear keeper look like?

5:00 am (IST) – Beginning the preparation of porridge for the bears!

The porridge contains nutritious ingredients such as millets, honey and milk and is often served with boiled eggs - a preferred meal.
The porridge contains nutritious ingredients such as millets, honey and milk and is often served with boiled eggs – a preferred meal for the bears. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Lenu Kannan]

6:30 am(IST) – Breakfast is served!

While the bears wait impatiently for their meals to be served, the keepers distribute the thick, creamy porridge by ladling it into round steel plates.

Ranjan's keeper pouring out sumptuous quantities of porridge with a dollop of honey - just the way Ranjan likes!
Ranjan’s keeper pouring out sumptuous quantities of porridge with a dollop of honey – just the way Ranjan likes! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Shresatha Pachori]
Fruits are an equally important part of meals - our bears go through multiple crates (literally) of fresh fruits a day!
Fruits are an equally important part of meals – our bears go through multiple crates (literally) of fresh fruits a day! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

8:00am (IST) – Keepers sanitizing bear dens.

While the bears enjoy their delicious meal, the caregiver cleans, sterilizes and disinfects their enclosures. They do this everyday without fail as clean dens are extremely important to keep infection at bay.

The cleaning procedure seems to interest some bears - they come and watch the caregivers go about their work!
The cleaning procedure seems to interest some bears – they come and watch the caregivers go about their work! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

10:00am (IST) – Cleaning the enclosures.

After sanitising the dens, our keepers move onto cleaning the outer enclosure. This involves cleaning the pools in the enclosure, sweeping away the dry leaves, twigs and branches accumulated through the night, clearing away the occasional debris of enrichments prepared for the bears.

As neglected/stagnant water bodies can be a source of disease, cleaning the pools used by the bears regularly is extremely important.
As neglected/stagnant water bodies can be a source of disease, cleaning the pools used by the bears regularly is extremely important. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Shresatha Pachori]
The bears enjoying the clean pools after the cleaning.
The bears enjoying the clean pools after the cleaning. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS]
Cleaning the debris of the previous day to ensure the bears aren't hurt during their daily activities.
Cleaning the debris of the previous day to ensure the bears aren’t hurt during their daily activities. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Shresatha Pachori]

01:00pm (IST) – Creating enrichments for the bears!

We’ve mentioned it time and again – the importance of enrichments in the lives of rehabilitated animals is immense. This enables them to hone their skills, keeping physically and mentally fit, and avoiding monotony.

Bear keeper Allauddin creating enrichment for the bears under his care! All of our caregivers are very handy and love to create innovative enrichments for the bears.
Caretaker Allauddin creating enrichment for the bears under his care! All of our caregivers are very handy and love to create innovative enrichments for the bears. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS
Bamboo enrichments are a common favourite at our bear rescue centres!
Bamboo enrichments are a common favourite at our bear rescue centres! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS]

03:00pm (IST) – Filling up enrichments with yummy treats for the bears to enjoy!

The keeper filling a hanging enrichment filled up with dates, nuts and fruits.
The bear keeper filling a hanging enrichment filled up with dates, nuts and fruits. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
They occasionally decorate fruits in interesting shapes and sizes to entice the bears' interest.
They occasionally decorate fruits in interesting shapes and sizes to entice the bears’ interest. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

05:00pm (IST) – Ending the day with another fruit feast for the bears!

After a hearty day of playing, eating and snoozing, the bears are ready to call it a day! The final touch to the day is with a delicious fruit feast – bananas, watermelons and papayas are just some of the fruits enjoyed by the bears. The feast is meticulously prepared by their caregivers.

Watermelon is one of the most preferred fruits for the bears at our rescue centres.
Watermelon is one of the most preferred fruits for the bears at our rescue centres. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
Bears quite look forward to the fruit feast awaiting for them at the end of a day.
Bears quite look forward to the fruit feast awaiting for them at the end of a day. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

That’s all for today, folks! To watch a video on what a day in a WSOS bear keeper’s life looks like, you can click here!

Share With

Related Posts

Our Social Media

Hotline Number | हॉटलाइन नंबर

Delhi NCT Region +91-9871963535
Agra Region (UP) +91-9917109666
Vadodra Region +91-9825011117

Subscribe To Our Newsletter