Our environment faces a grim future owing to various anthropogenic factors. Wildlife conservation, therefore, highly depends on awareness campaigns and financial aid. Wildlife conservation organisations often struggle to find sources to fund and sustain their conservation efforts. While the implementation of conservation initiatives relies on grants and funds, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) sector plays an equally important role to garner adequate support. Organisations like Wildlife SOS, which work tirelessly towards habitat protection, wildlife conservation and wildlife research studies, greatly benefit from CSR initiatives.
Alliances with various corporate bodies have boosted the welfare of the animals under our care, as well as our efforts in wildlife conservation. Recently, employees from two renowned corporations lent their support by volunteering at the Wildlife SOS Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre (BBRC).
Environment Health day with J.P. Morgan
According to the World Health Organisation, almost 13.7 million deaths (24% of the global deaths) every year are due to environmental risks. In other words, nearly 1 in 4 of total global deaths are linked to the environment. Each year, we celebrate World Environmental Health Day on 27 September to spread awareness about the condition of the environment and initiate conversations about the steps one can take to protect it.
On this occasion, employees from J.P. Morgan, a global leader in financial services, visited the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre (BBRC). Twenty-four volunteers, along with our team members, kick-started the day with a cleanliness drive of Bannerghatta’s parking area. They each picked up garbage that was littered in the area and discarded it safely, while engaging in healthy discussions about the environment.
Soon after, the volunteers from J.P. Morgan made their way to BBRC, where they were introduced to our team of caregivers and veterinary officers. They took a tour of the facility and learnt about the care and management our dedicated team provides to the rehabilitated Sloth bears. They also visited our eco-friendly kitchen — where briquette stocks are used as a renewable source of energy to cook porridge for the bears. It was then time for the group to engage in some fun volunteering activities such as building hammocks and tyre enrichments for the bears.
Elephant Appreciation Day with Atlassian
In recognition of the National Elephant Appreciation Day, Atlassian, a software company, brought a team of 28 employees to our centre. This visit was arranged on September 23 as part of their CSR initiative with Wildlife SOS. A brief orientation was followed by the screening of ‘The Last Dance’, a documentary on our efforts to rescue Sloth bears across the country. Our staff members also talked about Sloth bear behaviour, rescue and rehabilitation, and their management and care. Soon after, the group was taken on a tour around BBRC, to explain how the centre functions. The veterinary team demonstrated how various medical equipment and procedures are used to treat the Sloth bears in our care. Following this, the volunteers were guided to the green kitchen, where porridge is cooked for the bears using eco-friendly biomass.
The volunteers from Atlassian also took part in activities involving designing enrichments for the bears. They repaired a hammock and designed tyre enrichment — all without breaking a sweat! Enrichments were then provided to our Sloth bears, Mahi and Hamsi, who took to exploring them instantly!
An enriched environment allows bears to exhibit natural behaviours and encourages them to be more active. Enrichments play an important role in minimising stress in animals and help to reduce stereotypic behaviours, such as head bobbing and swaying. Structural enrichments include wooden platforms, climbing structures, swings, see-saws and hammocks, which replicate the natural habitat for the Sloth bears. Olfactory enrichments consist of certain structures that are smeared with honey and peanut butter to stimulate the cognitive abilities of bears.
If you are someone working in the corporate sector, a pitch to your company or organisation to partner with Wildlife SOS would help us help our animals. We welcome you to join hands with us, and work towards wildlife conservation together. For further information on our CSR programmes, please feel free to reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, if you would like to know more about the Sloth bears under our care, do visit Wildlife SOS Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre in Bengaluru.