Last week, Wildlife SOS’ Agra Bear Recue Facility was approached by the ‘Explorers’ club of GD Goenka School, Delhi to arrange a visit for their enthusiastic and curious students. 85 students, accompanied by 9 teachers and 4 organisers made their way through our facility, buzzing with excitement at the sight of our rescued bears.
While the children enjoyed strolling along the trails through the bear sanctuary watching the bears play and explore, the primary objective of these visits is to ensure that they leave better informed about the cause we champion. Staff members of the organization informed the students about the devastating stories of some of the bears that they encountered. The response was remarkable with students rushing to put forward their concerns and doubts about the issue. They were also informed about Wildlife SOS as an organization and all its work- in response to which our staff was delighted to find that the students were extremely interested in the plight of the bears, asking to find out more about the dancing bears and their rescues alike.
The students stopped for a break, but kept it short as they were ever eager to get back to learning about these fascinating creatures.
This was followed by a screening of a documentary on bear dancing which sparked many emotions among the students who were appalled at the condition of these beautiful wild animals.
While a few students were a little apprehensive about the next activity, many progressed with much fervor and excitement- learning about snakes, of which they were shown a variety of different species including those which had been rescued from saperas or snake charmers. The students were also informed about how snakes are treated by snake charmers and the dismal conditions in which these creatures are found at the time of rescue. Most often, snakes displayed by saperas at auspicious events and functions have their fangs and venom glands (which they require to hunt prey and for the digestion of food) removed and their mouths sewn shut for the convenience of the saperas. On finding out about this, both the adults and the children were dismayed and increasingly curious to find out about what was being done to help these reptiles.
The group then progressed to the Agra Bear Rescue Facility Operation Theatre where they were given the opportunity to quiz the vets about procedures and past events. It was clear, from the awe in the eyes of the children, that many had found inspiration within the confines of our facility.
The end of the visit saw the students trudge out of the facility bidding adieu to the bears and promising to return with their families and friends. They trooped back into their buses and began their return to Delhi, exchanging stories about their eventful day.