Yusuf Pathan – renowned Indian cricket star from Vadodara, Gujarat has come forward to support the conservation of a critically endangered species – the Sloth Bear. Earlier this week, Master Blaster – Sachin Tendulkar dedicated his 42nd century to the cause of tiger conservation. Yusuf Pathan a young cricketer from the Indian National Cricket Team visited Agra Bear Rescue Centre – the world’s largest rescue centre for rescued “Dancing” Sloth Bears run by Wildlife SOS in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department.
Yusuf Pathan said, “I am deeply affected by the cruel exploitation of these magnificent sloth bears. I endorse the wonderful work done by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and Wildlife SOS to bring an end to this barbaric practice through the Agra Bear Rescue Facility. The Agra Bear Rescue Facility is a dedicated effort to conserve this rare and endangered species. I appeal to all Indian citizens to come forward and support the cause of wildlife conservation and Wildlife SOS”
To date, Wildlife SOS has rescued / surrendered / confiscated 515 dancing bears from all over the country and kept them in healthy & hygienic condition in their Rescue Centers. Wildlife SOS is running four rescue centres in Agra, Bangalore, Bhopal and Purulia. All the centers are run in collaboration with the State Forest Departments.
Chief Conservator of Forest, Agra Zone – Dr.R.P.Bharti, IFS said “The work for protecting and conserving Sloth Bears in the Kirawali Tehsil of Agra by Wildlife SOS in collaboration with the Forest Department is an outstanding success story in Indian Conservation. The greatest contribution by this NGO is reflected in terms of ground realities on the National Highway NH-11 connecting Agra to Jaipur. Today there is not a single “Dancing Bear” seen on this highway with Kalandars. The goal set by Wildlife S.O.S. & the Department has been achieved by rescuing 100% of the targeted “Dancing Bear” population around Agra. There are some Dancing Bears left to be rescued in eastern Uttar Pradesh and we hope this will be also completed very soon, there by making Uttar Pradesh free from Dancing Bears.”
Geeta Seshamani, co founder & secretary of Wildlife SOS said, “It is encouraging to see young citizens like Yusuf Pathan coming forward to support this important cause. It is a privilege for Wildlife SOS to have the support of Mr Pathan to further the cause of wildlife conservation”. Wildlife SOS works in tandem with Forest dept, Police & enforcement agencies to help control and prevent wildlife crime.